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Woman gets two years for Cortez police chase and crash that injured 3 people

Griselda Lobos was sentenced in Montezuma County Court to two years in jail for causing a crash in Cortez that caused injuries. (Courtesy Montezuma County Sheriff Department)
Collision on South Broadway occurred after a high-speed chase from Mancos through Cortez

A Chilean couple arrested in October after a high-speed chase through downtown Cortez that ended in a crash with injuries have been sentenced to jail.

In a plea agreement, driver Griselda Edith Lobos pleaded guilty to vehicular assault, a Class 5 felony, for crashing into a pickup truck on South Broadway that injured three occupants, according to court records.

On Tuesday, she was sentenced by District Judge Todd Plewe to two years in Department of Corrections with credit for 192 days served in the Montezuma County Detention Center.

The sentence includes paying $11,000 restitution to the victims, plus two years’ probation on release. The two-year prison sentence and restitution was recommended by District Attorney Matt Margeson. The maximum prison sentence for the offense is three years.

Aug 7, 2022
Update: Fleeing suspect hit 120 mph before crash in Cortez

Lobos’ passenger, Max Toledo-Rojas, also was arrested at the crash scene and was in possession of stolen credit cards, according to court and police records.

In December, he pleaded guilty to credit card fraud and was sentenced by Chief District Judge Doug Walker to six months in jail.

Walker told Toledo-Rojas that the conviction might lead to deportation measures, which would be handled by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Griselda Edith Lobos and Max Toledo-Rojas

Speaking through a Spanish language interpreter during her sentencing hearing, Lobos apologized for her actions and to the injured victims. She said the restitution would be paid.

She admitted to making a mistake and asked for forgiveness.

Her mother, testifying from Chile via a video feed, asked for leniency in the sentence so that her daughter could return home.

She said her daughter was “not a bad girl” but got mixed up with the wrong crowd when she went to the United States to try to help her ailing parents and young son, who has a disability.

In handing down the sentence, Plewe said Lobos’ actions warranted a jail sentence because she evaded law enforcement while driving at high speed down Cortez’s Main Street, hit a car with innocent people and injured people. There “must be a penalty” for your bad decisions, he said.

On Oct. 17, a Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office deputy clocked Lobos driving 104 mph east of Mancos in a rented Honda Crosstour. He attempted to make a traffic stop, but Lobos sped away westward. Another deputy clocked the vehicle at 116 mph near the Montezuma County Fairgrounds east of Cortez as it approached the city and dangerously passed four vehicles, according to the report.

Cortez police officers put down spike strips, and the vehicle clipped the spikes with one tire, but continued south on to U.S. Highway 160/491.

“The vehicle made evasive maneuvers, and I was not able to tell if my stop sticks had a successful hit, but I believe they punctured the front right tire of the vehicle. The vehicle was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed,” said Cortez police officer Vance Carver.

As a precaution, law enforcement officers called off the pursuit because of the high speed. At the southern city limits of Cortez, Lobos crossed into the northbound lane and collided with a pickup truck, according to the arrest affidavit.

The car spun back into the southbound lane, hit a rock wall, then flipped onto its top.

Lobos and her husband, Toledo-Rojas, were transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The northbound truck had three occupants, and the person in the back seat suffered broken ribs, said Assistant Police Chief Andy Brock. All three people in the truck wore seat belts and were examined at the hospital.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com