An Arapahoe County on Tuesday determined that a Littleton man was driving drunk and high when he hit and two killed two people on a motorcycle on Labor Day 2016.
Matthew Samuel Smith, 58, was found guilty of two counts of vehicular homicide-DUI, among other counts, in the Sept. 5, 2016, deaths of Brandon Dobson, 21, and Breona Knight, 20.
“The defendant’s life intersected with the lives of two young people that night, and they ended up dead,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Sugioka told the jury during closing arguments. “There was overwhelming evidence … he killed them because he was driving under the influence of acohol and cocaine.”
“With alcohol and cocaine running through his body, Smith inexplicably climbed behind the wheel and snuffed out Brandon and Breona’s young lives. Unwilling to take responsibility for the deaths he caused, Smith blamed everybody but himself at trial, including the victims,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Under Colorado’s weak DUI laws, Smith could still get probation, despite killing two young members of our community. In an era of Uber and Lyft and taxis and light rail, driving intoxicated in the metro area is selfish, indifferent to the innocent lives on our roads, and — far too often — lethal. Oh yeah, and entirely preventable.”
Smith and a passenger were in his 2005 Chrysler Town & Country minivan traveling southbound on Parker Road in Aurora. Dobson was driving his motorcycle northbound on Parker with Knight as a passenger.
Smith attempted to turn left onto East Temple Drive and failed to yield to oncoming traffic. The minivan struck the motorcycle.
Dobson was pronounced dead at Parker Adventist Hospital. Knight was pronounced dead at Medical Center of Aurora South.
Samples of Smith’s blood drawn 90 minutes after the crash found a blood-alcohol content of 0.054 and the presence of cocaine.
Police found five empty 50 ml bottles of peppermint schnapps in the van along with drug paraphernalia.
Deputy District Attorney Kristin Tuttle showed the jury photos of the crime scene during closing arguments.
“This is what vehicular homicide looks like – two lives taken way too soon …. This is why we have DUI laws,” she told jurors. “Smith made the decision to drink, he made the decision to get high, he made the decision to drive. He made the decisions that killed Breona and Brandon.”
On Tuesday, May 8, an Arapahoe County jury convicted Smith of two counts of vehicular homicide DUI; two counts of vehicular homicide reckless driving; two counts of reckless manslaughter; and one count of failure to yield right of way.
Smith was remanded to jail pending sentencing, which is set for July 23.