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Driver in Lakewood crash that killed 2 sentenced to 158 years

Police said William Jokay-Szilagji was going 105 miles per hour just seconds before the May 2019 crash.
Credit: 1st Judicial District Attorney's Office

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A man was sentenced to 158 years in prison Monday for his role in a high-speed crash in Lakewood that killed two men last year.

Jacob Bowen, 26, (above, left) and his passenger, 30-year-old Jesse Edmonds (right), were killed in the May 2019 crash. Both were from Kansas and were in Colorado on vacation.

In February, a jury returned the verdicts against 28-year-old William Jokay-Szilagji following a one-week trial and almost two days of deliberation. 

The charges included four counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of first-degree assault and four counts of vehicular eluding causing serious bodily injury, according to the DA's office.

RELATED: Man charged with 20 counts, held on $1 million bond in Lakewood crash that killed 2

On May 19, 2019, Lakewood police (LPD) were called to a condo complex at 12350 West Nevada Place and saw a stolen Toyota 4Runner in the lot with the engine running. They then saw Jokay-Szilagji run up and get into the vehicle, according to prosecutors, and they ordered him to stop.

Jokay-Szilagji ignored them and drove off, ramming a police cruiser and injuring an officer before driving through a wooden fence and through a pedestrian area, where he temporarily got stuck in a playground sandbox, according to prosecutors.

Credit: 1st Judicial District Attorney's Office

Minutes later, two LPD agents who were stopped at the light at West Alameda and South Kipling parkways saw the 4Runner Jokay-Szilagji was driving speeding east on Alameda without its headlights on.

RELATED: Driver in Lakewood crash that killed 2 convicted on 24 counts

RELATED: Man charged with 20 counts, held on $1 million bond in Lakewood crash that killed 2

Jokay-Szilagji ran the red light and collided with a white Nissan that was traveling south on Kipling, according to prosecutors. The jury was told he had been traveling 105 miles per hour five seconds before the crash.

Two female passengers in the 4Runner suffered massive injuries.

Authorities said in the days leading up to the crash, Jokay-Szilagji had been on a crime spree that included theft of the 4Runner and use of financial transaction devices inside it, a home burglary where he stole a rifle, multiple wallets, credit cards and a tactical vest, a car trespass and the robbery of a person at a bar in Arvada. The stolen items were found in the vehicle after the crash, as well as 4.5 grams of methamphetamine. 

The release said Jokay-Szilagji had injected meth prior to the crash, and that he still had the drug in his system 16 hours later.

RELATED: 29 years in prison for man who killed woman while driving drunk

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