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Crash victim's father criticizes judge after sentence

"What she’s telling everyone is: go drink, kill one, two, three people, who cares?" Eytan Tsioni said.

DENVER — Nine months after his son was killed by a drunk driver, Eytan Tsioni said the pain is still almost unendurable.  

"They say time helps. I don't know. It's been almost a year and I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel," Tsioni said.

Tsioni said his deep pain was joined late last week by profound anger. 

"You cannot trust the justice system," he said.

On April 9, 2022, a 17-year-old Boulder girl left a post-prom party to get more alcohol. She was driving drunk the wrong way on Foothills Parkway when she crashed head-on into another car, killing the two people inside that car: Tsioni's 33-year-old son, Ori, who was a Lyft driver, and Ori's passenger, 49-year-old Gloria Ramirez.

"He was great. What can I tell you? He was my firstborn," Tsioni said of Ori. "It's very hard to talk about him in the past."

The 17-year-old driver pleaded guilty in December to all the charges against her, including the top count of vehicular homicide. The maximum sentence was 18 months in jail and four years probation.

Prosecutors asked for six months of jail time and four years probation. But, three days ago, citing the 17-year-old's deep remorse, Judge Ingrid Bakke changed the deal and sentenced the 17-year-old to nine months of work release and three years probation. 

"We were hoping for more, not for less. I mean, come on, give her 10 years in jail," Tsioni said.

Tsioni said he was shocked by the judge's decision to modify the plea deal and disgusted that, at one point during the sentencing, Bakke said that the 17-year-old was not a criminal.

"When a judge tells a girl who killed two people that you are not a criminal, then I don't understand," Tsioni said. "If you're not a criminal, then what are you? Mother Theresa? You killed two people."

9NEWS reached out to Bakke's office Monday afternoon for a comment on this story. So far, they have not responded.


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