PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- It's been over four months since a Fountain police officer fell 40 feet from a bridge off I-25 to his death. 13 Investigates is now asking the question why haven't any of the repeat offenders involved in his death been charged for their actions leading to the officer's death, including one career criminal who may soon be back on the streets.
Devon Bobian has been at the center of multiple 13 Investigates reports exposing how he's been handled by our criminal justice system. He was placed back in the same community corrections facility for a third time after escaping in violation of Colorado law multiple times prior. Even detailing how Bobian told members of the Colorado Parole Board that he knew he could "get over on the halfway house in previous years and how he "didn't take parole seriously." Now, he's been offered a plea deal that would allow him to avoid prison time once again.
Bobian is a suspect in the death of Fountain PD officer Julian Becerra. Police say Bobian and two other suspects, Danisha Pacheco and Anthony Vallejos, took officers on a high-speed chase along I-25. All three were in a stolen car after allegedly robbing innocent citizens at gunpoint before taking their cars.
On the night of February 2, Bobian had two warrants for his arrest, both out of Pueblo. One was for car theft and the other was for escaping from a community corrections facility. Wednesday, Bobian appeared in court on those charges. The Pueblo County District Attorney's Office has offered Bobian a plea agreement down to a misdemeanor on the car theft charges and is dismissing the escape charge.
Elected District Attorney Jeff Chostner tells 13 Investigates that he does not believe that they can prove either case beyond a reasonable doubt, the bar for a criminal conviction in court. He says they have a "fatal problem with identification of the defendant" in his cases. However, questions remain about whether Bobian will be released back into the community after being sentenced in Pueblo on misdemeanor charges.
"It seems inappropriate. I know from hearing from other members of the community that they're angry about it. This guy is a threat to our community," former Pueblo prosecutor Shawn Conti said. "There's people like this guy. He is beyond rehabilitation. This is why the community is so up in arms."
The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office in El Paso County says they cannot comment on open investigations, which according to them, is still the case in Officer Becerra's death. This comes after the El Paso County Sheriff's Office says they turned their investigation over to the DA's office mere weeks after his death.
In addition to this, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has charged Pacheco and Vallejos for robbery, allegations directly tied to their alleged conduct on the night of Beccera's death. However, Bobian has not been charged.
This comes as arrest records for Pacheco and Vallejos outline that Bobian attempted to flee from a stolen vehicle before he attempted to jump of a bridge himself and police officers helped him back to safety before taking him into custody.
As Conti explains, there is a distinct possibility that Bobian's actions that fateful night did not directly cause Officer Becerra's death.
"Maybe they think that Bobian may have some sort of defense, that maybe if you look at the felony murder rule, there are some affirmative defenses," Conti explained. "They're one of the defenses that says you did not commit the homicidal act, and did not cause the homicidal act."
Bobian does have a DOC detainer lodged on him by the Colorado Department of Corrections. DA Chostner says this is considered a "parole hold," that allows prison officials to hold Bobian without bail until his cases are resolved. Since March, Bobian has been housed at the Bent County Correctional Facility.
However, court documents say Bobian's mandatory release date on the charges that sent him to community corrections in the first place is in August, 2024. This means that if Bobian doesn't face additional charges, he could be released back into the community in a little over a year.
"The community hopes that he's not. Several people have contacted me that they're angry and they're fearful and they go, how? How does this happen," Conti questioned. "If this plea deal in Pueblo does go through, it's a misdemeanor 1 plea deal. He's facing a max of 364 days in jail. He is going to get some sort of good time. So it seems a likelihood that he could be walking in the street sometime next year."