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Victim accuses parole officers of ‘dropping the ball’ after man with 6 DUI charges hits his car

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.(KRDO) -- A man, with already six DUI charges under his belt, was in an El Paso County courtroom to face his seventh and most recent DUI charge.

On April 8, 2022, court documents accuse 58-year-old Thomas Trujillo of driving with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Contents) four times the legal limit. That's when he crashed into the back of Diego Sigala's truck, which was being driven by his stepfather at the time.

According to court documents, the crash happened at the intersection of Highway 16 and Bandley Dr. in Fountain when Siagala's stepfather was stopped at a red light.

13 Investigates uncovered that Trujillo was given parole multiple times on DUI charges only to be charged with more DUIs while under supervision within the last 20 years.

Thomas Trujillo

Arrest documents obtained by 13 Investigates say the arresting officer said Trujillo had "bloodshot eyes and slurred speech."

The officer added that Trujillo was unsteady on his feet and swayed back and forth when he got out of his vehicle.

For the April crash, Trujillo was charged with DUI with three prior offenses, a class-four felony in Colorado.

13 Investigates learned that 23 days before the crash, on March 15, Trujillo had been released from the Department of Correction on parole for a 2018 DUI charge in Elbert County.

Before that DUI conviction, parole records state Trujillo had 29 prior convictions, eight felony charges, and 21 misdemeanor charges.

Over the last two decades, Trujillo had been given multiple early releases.

His first release was a 2006 felony charge, the next from a 2009 felony charge, and the latest from his 2018 charge. In all instances, he reoffended before his parole sentence was completed.

"It appears that he has just been able to dodge the bullet from taking any responsibility for his actions," Sigala said.

Diego Sigala

Sigala said his frustrations grew when he realized Trujillo bonded out of jail days after the accident. He was not placed on a parole hold and was released from jail. Court records say Trujillo picked up two additional charges while on bond in Douglas and El Paso County. He was charged with failing to appear at a mandatory court date in July as well.

Trujillo was given bond after the April charge because, "the El Paso Jail will not typically hold parolees who are able to make bond, and are not charged with a violent crime. Mr. Trujillo reported to his parole officer after his release and was given a summons to return to the parole board for them to begin parole revocation proceedings," a Department of Corrections Spokesperson said.

Sigala told 13 Investigates that he had reached out to DOC after Trujillo's failure to appear. He believed that a warrant was issued after his phone call.

However, DOC says, "Mr. Sigala called the DOC fugitive tip line to advise of Trujillo’s FTA warrant, however Mr. Trujillo was already in custody at the time Mr. Sigala called. Mr. Sigala reaching out and providing Mr. Trujillo’s address had no bearing on the parole hold; the parole hold was already in place. When Mr. Trujillo failed to appear for his pending court case, he reported to the parole office where he was arrested and transported to the El Paso County Jail," A Department of Corrections Spokesperson said.

"We entrust those parole officers to watch out and supervise their parolees and they are just really dropping the ball," Sigala said.

Sigala says he's out $4,500 in damages and lost his primary form of transportation. Because Trujillo was driving without insurance, it's been difficult for Sigala to get restitution in this case.

"I've always had faith in the judicial system but it's a big let down right now because I understand people need second chances, but it's a matter of time before his actions are going to kill someone," Sigala said.

13 Investigates received 49 pages of parole records for Trujillo. Several of the court records point to Trujillo being a "public safety risk."

In this parole board action report, Trujillo had boxes checked for public safety risk and recent community supervision failure because of a 2020 escape charge while he was in community corrections.

Additionally, the report states that Trujillo has "untreated criminogenic needs." Trujillo underwent a risk assessment test in 2020 and 2021. In both, he was given a high score for the potential to re-offend. The report cited his recent Community Correction failure, untreated criminal needs, and six prior DUIs as reasons why.

Via CORA Request

A report by CoreCivic Community stated that Trujillo had "never successfully completed parole" as of his intake date of February 4, 2020.

"It's disheartening to hear that it is not being taken seriously. I'm stuck in limbo. I'm without a vehicle and it's a crappy situation," Sigala said.

Sigala tells 13 Investigates he has reached out to Trujillo's parole officer Lindsay Cascarelle on multiple occasions to get some answers. He says he has not received any answers from Cascarelle or the Department of Corrections.

The Department of Corrections addressed this and said, "it is against CDOC policy to provide private information about parolees to the public, so Mr. Sigala would not have been provided details regarding Mr. Trujillo’s contact with his parole officer or on his parole revocation process."

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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