Repeat DUI offender gets 45 years for causing fatal crash while drunk

Published on May 08, 2024

Anthony Eagle Mugshot

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Fort Lupton man was sentenced last week to more than four decades in prison for causing a fatal crash in 2022, while driving drunk and while he was on probation for a previous drunk driving offense in Adams County.

On November 2, 2022, emergency crews were called to a crash on Weld County Road 16 and Weld County Road 19, where 48-year-old Anthony Eagle hit and killed 38-year-old Jesus Rios of Lafayette, Colorado.

Shortly after the crash, a good Samaritan pulled over to help at the scene. When the man got out of his vehicle, Eagle entered the truck where the witness’ 15-year-old daughter was. Eagle then stole the truck, with the teenage girl still inside.

The girl was finally able to jump out of the moving truck before Eagle also crashed that vehicle.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, the good Samaritan, and several of Mr. Rios’ family members, emotionally addressed the court.         

“Every single day, sometimes twice a day, I drive past a cross,” the good Samaritan said. “Every time I drive by it, my heart sinks. Maybe keep harmful people locked up instead of a slap on the wrist. There’s no reason why this man should have been out on bond.”

At the time of the fatal Weld County crash, the defendant was on probation for a previous drunk driving offense in Adams County in May of 2022.

In total, the defendant was convicted of six prior alcohol-related driving offenses in other jurisdictions including Adams, Jefferson, Clear Creek, Denver and Arapahoe Counties stemming back to 1994.   

“The facts of this case are some of the most egregious I’ve ever seen in my career as a prosecutor,” Deputy District Attorney Katherine Fitzgerald said. “Not only are the facts aggravating, but his criminal history is also extremely aggravating. This man should have never been given this many chances to get behind the wheel. It’s an understatement when I say his actions were selfish and that the results were horrific and heartbreaking. I want our Weld County community to know that this type of behavior is not, and will not, be tolerated.”

“There aren’t words to describe the nightmare we have lived since November 2nd,” the victim’s sister said during the sentencing hearing. “Our lives have been completely shattered. My heart is so broken. I miss my brother so much it hurts.”

Both of Rios’ teenage daughters also made emotional statements during the sentencing hearing.

“My life completely changed for the worse,” one daughter said. “He was the light in my world. For my high school graduation, a picture was all I was able to have. Never in a million years did I think I would have to close a casket on my dad.”

In February of this year, Eagle pled guilty to: one count of Driving Under the Influence – Fourth or Subsequent Offense, Second Degree Murder and Second Degree Kidnapping.

As part of the plea agreement, the parties stipulated to a sentencing range of 35 to 45 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Weld County District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow sentenced Eagle to the maximum amount of 45 years in DOC.

“To me, my dad was my entire world,” Rios’ daughter said. “He’s the man I’ll always look up to. He won’t be here anymore to congratulate me or my siblings for any of our achievements. I not only lost my dad, I lost my best friend.” 

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