Ex-Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Deaths of Two Mesa State College Students

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Patrick Strawmatt appeared in court Friday afternoon to make a plea agreement in the deaths of two Mesa State College students.

He says he wanted to make the agreement because it was the right thing to do.

The 42-year old ex-police officer from Lafayette pleaded guilty to four counts of first degree assault in a vehicular homicide. These charges stem from a car accident that killed Jennifer Kois and her boyfriend Jacob Brock back in March.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of eluding police. He had been leading police on a chase before rear ending the car carrying Kois and Brock.

By making the agreement, Strawmatt faces 64 to 72 years in prison, with a mandatory five years parole if he gets out. The other 14 charges against Strawmatt, including charges of first-degree murder, have been dropped.

The emotional and tear filled families of Kois and Brock were at the hearing today. They say the agreement is fair and that they're happy the case is almost over.

"That's what the families were most concerned about," said Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger. "Avoiding a trial, but being certain that it's essentially a life sentence and he can't do this to somebody else."

The families of the victims say the proceedings have made it tough to get through the grieving process.

"It is a blessing that this doesn't have to go on for months or possibly years," said Vern Brock, the father of Jacob Brock.

Strawmatt will be officially sentenced next week.

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