The man found guilty of running over and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper during a high-speed chase has been sentenced to life in prison plus 342 years.
Christopher Lee Gebers' September conviction already carried a mandatory life sentence without parole, but Tuesday’s sentencing hearing allowed Trooper Taylor Thyfault's family and friends to discuss how the loss had affected them, the Denver Channel reports.
For the very first time in court, 28-year-old Gebers apologized to Thyfault’s family. Gebers said, “I wish I could take it back. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I didn’t mean to kill anybody. This was an accident.”
Gebers was convicted in September of first-degree murder with extreme indifference for the death of 21-year-old trooper Taylor Thyfault.
Gebers was arrested following the May 2015 chase that also injured CSP Sgt. Clinton Rushing, 37, as he and Thyfault deployed stop sticks on Highway 66 northwest of Longmont.
The two had been working an earlier two-vehicle crash as the chase approached their location. Thyfault died when he was struck by Gebers' speeding car. Rushing was hospitalized with critical injuries.
Thyfault pushed a tow truck driver out of the way before he was hit, according to witnesses.
Thyfault was a cadet with the Colorado State Patrol. During his funeral, he was promoted to the rank of trooper as colleagues recalled him as honorable and selfless leader.