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Man in DUI crash that killed Englewood officer has sentence reduced

6:55 AM, Jan 4, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - An Arapahoe County judge reduced the sentence for a man who killed an Englewood officer in a DUI crash in 2012.

The judge took six months off Conner Donohue's 10 year sentence during a sentence reduction hearing Friday.

The underage drunk driver hit and killed Englewood Police Officer Jeremy Bitner on Memorial Day weekend in 2012. He was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The defense argued that Donohue is a model prisoner and is a low risk to the community if he refrains from drinking. His defense attorneys said he can't get the counseling he needs behind bars.

George Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, called the reduction insignificant.

"The reality is that shaving six months off the sentence the judge had originally imposed really only reduces his time for parole eligibility by 2-3 months tops," Brauchler said. "The difference isn't significant."

Englewood Police Chief John Collins said the sentence reduction was more "symbolic."

"I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this," Collins said. "It kind of turned into 'lets talk about the defendant' more so than Jeremy Bitner.

"I know it's only six months," he continued. "It's very symbolic."

Donohue addressed the judge Friday. He expressed his remorse to the Bitner family.

"I'm willing to do anything I can do repair the damage I caused," he said.

He will be eligible for parole in 2017 or 2018.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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