Cliggett found guilty on three counts in fatal bicycle accident

Cliggett found guilty on three counts in fatal bicycle accident

Sentencing scheduled for January

By Mark Reaman and Katherine Nettles

Crested Butte resident Charles “Chuck” Cliggett was found guilty by a jury on Thursday, November 2 of three counts related to an accident that resulted in the death of local bicyclist 71-year-old Mitch Hoffman. Cliggett was driving south on Highway 135 near Crested Butte South on November 7, 2022 when he struck Hoffman who was on a road bike also heading south.

Jury deliberation started Wednesday afternoon following three days of trial proceedings. The jury reconvened on Thursday morning and deliberated for a total of six hours before reaching their unanimous verdict, according to Gunnison County court clerks.

The 73-year-old Cliggett sat quietly in the courtroom as Judge Deborah Grohs read the verdicts shortly after 1 o’clock. He was found not guilty of vehicular homicide, but the jury found him guilty of careless driving resulting in death, improperly overtaking a bicycle on the left, and criminally negligent homicide. At the request of the defense attorney, the jury was polled, and all answered that that was what they had voted.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date of Monday, January 8, 2024 at 8:30 a.m. in Gunnison County court. We will have more information in the next edition of the Crested Butte News.

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