An Aurora man who was driving drunk when he hit and killed a 22-year-old man in a crosswalk has been convicted of second-degree murder.
Christopher Tarr, 42, will be sentenced Jan. 25 for killing Dalton McCreary, 22.
On Aug. 21, 2016, Tarr was driving drunk when he ran a red light at the intersection of South Chambers Road and East Iliff Avenue in Aurora. McCreary was crossing the street with the light in the crosswalk with his friend.
McCreary saw Tarr’s Toyota 4-Runner coming at them and tried to get himself and his friend out of the way.
The friend received a minor injury; McCreary was killed.
“I commend the jury for seeing that this case was more than another tragic drunk driving fatality. This was a murder occasioned by the conduct of a repeat drunk driver,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “DUI is the one crime from which we cannot shield our families, unless we choose to live in a cave. All who walk and drive our roads are protected from injury and death only by signs, lights, paint on the roads, and the trust that drivers will obey them. Here, Tarr selfishly engaged in lethal behavior, killing an innocent man. There is never an excuse for a drunk driving death, but in this case, the defendant had been explicitly made aware of the consequences of drunk driving. He just didn’t care.”
Brauchler added: “This solid verdict is the product of strong police work, appropriately aggressive prosecution, and a community that recognizes the importance of ending drunk driving and its growing body count in our state.”
“The last time this defendant got caught drinking and driving, he ran into a bunch of cars and a house,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney John Kellner, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Rory Devlin. “This time he senselessly killed a young man in a cross walk. I’m thankful for the jury returning a verdict that tells him it was murder.”
“The defendant, Christopher Tarr, ended the life of Dalton McCreary in a murderous act of unspeakable disregard for the lives and safety of everyone on the road with him that night,” Devlin said during his closing argument.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, an Arapahoe District Court jury found Tarr guilty of Murder 2 in McCreary’s death and Attempted Murder 2 in the injuries to his friend. The top count is a Class 2 felony. The jury also found Tarr guilty of DUI, reckless driving, careless driving and two counts of vehicular homicide.
The presumptive sentencing range for second-degree murder is 16-48 years in the Department of Corrections.