Robbins destined for trial

Judge: No deal in 2005 vehicular homicide case

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— A 31-year-old man accused of vehicular homicide will face a trial in August.

Daniel Robbins, formerly of Clark, pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony manslaughter, felony vehicular homicide and felony reckless driving charges.

Robbins was arrested in June after he reportedly lost control of the 2005 Dodge Viper he was driving south of Kremmling on Colorado Highway 9. The car struck a guardrail, crashed and killed 22-year-old passenger Jeffery Harris of Clark.

Grand County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Edwards offered Robbins a plea in October that stipulated Robbins would plead guilty to vehicular homicide, a Class 4 felony, and speeding, a Class 2 misdemeanor. In exchange, Robbins would have been sentenced to supervised probation; 300 hours of community service; a $300 fine; and a safe driving course. Robbins also would have been required to pay for advertisements in local newspapers apologizing for the loss of life and write a letter of apology to the Harris family.

But District Judge Paul McLimans rejected the plea in March, saying the deal did not adequately protect the public. McLimans also said he was disturbed by a statement Robbins made to the probation office that even after Harris' death, he still had an attraction to speed.

After the March hearing, McLimans gave Robbins' attorney, Charles Feldmann, and Edwards nearly two months to attempt plea negotiations and reach a resolution in the case.

Feldmann said Friday that he and Edwards were not able to reach a resolution in the case and requested that the case be set for trial.

Edwards told McLimans he did not think the trial would take more than three days. Feldmann disagreed, saying the trial likely would require five days.

McLimans scheduled the trial to begin at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 7.

Dan Harris, Jeffery Harris' father, did not appear in court Friday, but said he is happy the case is going to trial. The Harrises opposed the original plea.

"We're happy an impartial jury might see the evidence as we do. In our opinion, the D.A.'s Office doesn't see it for what is," Harris said.

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