A 23-year-old Durango woman who was suspected of being the getaway driver in a burglary that turned into an officer-involved shooting last summer was sentenced Friday to three years in community corrections.
Authorities were dispatched to O’Reilly Auto Parts at 2475 Main Ave. around 4:30 a.m. July 1 after being alerted by a business alarm of a break-in.
Once at the scene, officers encountered a suspect inside the store, identified as Jason Noble Snow, 34, who started shooting at an officer. The officer returned fire, killing Snow, a Pagosa Springs resident.
Authorities believe Terrianne Paige Hiehle, who goes by her middle name, was the lookout and getaway driver. She fled the scene, however, and remained at large for nearly a week.
When contacted by law enforcement July 7, Hiehle took off on foot, but was quickly taken into custody.
Hiehle has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, a Class 5 felony. At a sentencing hearing Friday, Hiehle took responsibility for her actions and apologized to the community.
“I don’t want to hurt my family or anyone else around me ... due to my (drug) addiction,” she said. “I hope I can take this opportunity to better myself and make better decisions in the future ... instead of staying in that dark side of my life that I want to move past.”
Hiehle’s attorney, Heather Little, said Hiehle has a history of trauma and drug addiction. Little said Hiehle was dating Snow, who was older and had a far more extensive and aggravated criminal history.
Little said Hiehle had fled the scene before the shooting took place. Little said Hiehle asked to meet with the officer who was involved in the shooting, and the two had a productive and understanding conversation.
“While she didn’t agree to shoot at police, she nonetheless assisted in the burglary that put everyone in that position,” Little said. “She obviously takes responsibility. She feels terrible about what happened.”
Prosecutors and Hiehle’s defense attorneys reached a plea agreement that called for a possible community corrections sentence and/or probation. Little asked for just probation, while Deputy District Attorney Reid Stewart left the decision to the discretion of the court.
Judge Todd Norvell said he was surprised that a stricter sentence at the Department of Corrections wasn’t sought.
“You were involved in a burglary that turned to be a shootout with police,” Norvell said. “You knew what you were doing ... this is super dangerous behavior.”
Norvell said he thought about rejecting the plea agreement, but instead, decided to give Hiehle a chance to fix her life through the structure of community corrections at Hilltop House.
“I want to make sure you get off to a good start,” Norvell said. “(But) I want to be as sure as I can be if I’m going to leave you in the community, given the high-risk nature of what occurred that morning in the burglary.”
Hiehle will have to undergo various treatments as part of her sentence, as well as pay any associated court costs or fees.
In September, the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office reviewed the officer-involved shooting and determined the Durango Police Department officer who killed Snow “was legally justified in using deadly physical force.”
The Durango Herald in November reviewed body camera footage, which showed Snow had shot through the front glass door of the auto parts store, prompting the Durango officer to return fire.