A Centennial man was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for trying to kill his 2 ½ year-old son when he wrecked his car while the child was intentionally unrestrained.
Judge Jeffrey Holmes on April 3, 2018, sentenced Nathan Weitzel, 31, of Centennial, to 20 years in the Department of Corrections followed by five years of parole. Weitzel had pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to one count of first-degree attempted murder after deliberation, a Class 2 felony.
“This was a very serious crime in which an innocent child was hurt and very easily … could have been dead,” Holmes said in imposing the sentence.
“The person most expected to protect this child tried to do him the ultimate harm. It is impossible for any parent to fathom how anyone could do what this father did to his young, innocent son,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “My office takes great pride in protecting the most vulnerable members of our community, and this is clearly one of those cases. No amount of prison can fix what the world’s worst father had done here, but it will give him ample opportunity to seek forgiveness and redemption … if either of those things are even possible.”
On Aug. 21, 2016, Weitzel drove his Acura sedan about 75 mph and crashed into several parked cars in the 6000 block of Eudora Way in Centennial. He was wearing his seatbelt, but his son in the backseat was not restrained in any way.
Weitzel admitted to investigators he had been using cocaine and wanted to kill his son because being a father was a big responsibility, and he did not think he was man enough to raise a child.
Weitzel’s son recovered from serious injuries.
Weitzel had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on April 13, 2017. In exchange for his guilty plea to the top count, prosecutors agreed to drop the other six charges.
“The defendant’s intention that day was to kill his son. He purposefully did not buckle his son into his car seat,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Cori Alcock told the court. “The scar on the victim’s forehead will remind him every day when he looks in the mirror that his father, instead of caring for him, tried to kill him.”
The mother of the victim tearfully told the court how Weitzel’s actions had impacted her and her son.
“As a mother, this is one of the worst things anyone could go through. I don’t understand how he could hurt an innocent child, let alone his own flesh and blood. I don’t think he realizes how much pain he had caused,” she said through her sobs. “I realized he had absolutely no remorse or sympathy for his son. He is a selfish human being who will do and say anything to get what he wants. I think he is only sorry that he has to stay in prison and deal with the consequences.”