Colorado mom files rare motion after district attorney's office declines to prosecute her son's death

Patricia Telleen hopes a judge will decide prosecutors made the wrong decision.

9NEWS FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A mother in Fort Collins wants the driver who hit and killed her 37-year-old son in January to face charges.

The district attorney's office has already said no, saying there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him. The mom, Patricia Telleen, disagrees. Now, she has filed a rare motion to reverse that decision.

"I am still in shock," Telleen said. "I couldn't believe this could have happened there."

On Jan. 24, a coworker of Jason Telleen ran him over with a bus at a depot in Fort Collins. Jason worked part-time as a bus fueler for Transfort, which provides transit services for the City of Fort Collins.

Video provided by the family's attorney shows Jason walking onto the tarmac at night. The bus driver turned toward an open bay door and knocked Telleen to the ground. He later died from his injuries.

According to the family's motion to compel prosecution, the bus driver told an officer this area was an "accident waiting to happen." The motion goes on to say the driver was focused on the open bay door, and he would have seen Jason walking in the area if he had paid attention to what was in front of him.

Fort Collins Police did not recommend charges be filed when they presented the case to the district attorney's office. The DA's office decided not to prosecute the case.

"While the consequences of this accident are tragic, the evidence does not support the conclusion that Mr. Finnegan had the requisite criminal culpability when he drove into Mr. Telleen," District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said in an email to 9NEWS. "Our office issued a statement explaining our decision in April and the recent reports do not change the conclusions presented by the Fort Collins Police Services investigation. Given there is now pending litigation, we cannot comment further about the details. This is a heartbreaking situation and we send our deepest condolences to the Telleen family."

Patricia hired experts to review her son's case. According to the motion, three reports from experts supported prosecution.

The Telleen family and their attorney, Matthew Haltzman, believe the bus driver was careless and should be charged with careless driving resulting in death.

With the motion to compel prosecution, they hope to convince a judge the DA's office made the wrong decision. If they win, a special prosecutor would take over the case.

"A judge is put in the position of determining whether or not there's been a standard of proof that has been met, showing the DA's office has made an unreasonable decision not to prosecute a criminal case," Haltzman said.

The DA's office will have to respond to this motion. It will be several weeks before a decision is made.

See the original article here: https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/mom-files-motion-after-district-attorneys-office-declines-to-prosecute-sons-death/73-b0c9e51e-ae3d-4b26-9ac3-2d1a88ce6250

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