Colo. woman convicted in tow truck driver's death

February 24, 2012 - 9:25 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A woman was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide and other charges in the death of a tow truck driver who was dragged more than a mile by her vehicle.

Detra Farries, 33, showed little emotion as she learned the jury convicted her of all 11 counts she was facing, including manslaughter and leaving the scene of a deadly accident.

Prosecutors said that Farries drove away as Allen Lew Rose, 35, was preparing to tow her illegally parked SUV on Feb. 23, 2011, in Colorado Springs. He died after getting caught in a cable he had attached to her vehicle.

Farries' attorneys had argued that she didn't realize Rose was being dragged for more than a mile. Her side-view mirrors were broken.

Prosecutors countered with witnesses who testified they thought it looked like she was trying to shake Rose from her vehicle.

Farries is scheduled to be sentenced April 20.

Leaving the scene of a deadly accident is punishable by up to 24 years in prison, and Farries could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison for manslaughter and vehicular homicide. Those were the three most serious charges Farries faced.

Rose's death inspired a new state law that requires tow truck drivers to place a large warning sticker on the driver's side window stating that the vehicle is under tow before hitching it up. Drivers passing by a car about to be towed are required to move over a lane for the safety of the tow operator, just like vehicles must give room to police vehicles pulling someone over.