A former El Paso County Sheriff's deputy faces one year in jail after a jury convicted him Thursday of causing a deadly crash. It took jurors less than two hours to find Rodney Fannin guilty of careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor offense.
The crash happened on Highway 94 and Curtis Road last August. Police said that Fannin ran a red light and plowed into the car of 41-year-old Air Force Captain Vivian Elmo, killing her.
More than two dozen of Elmo's family members and friends were in court for the three day trial. Some cried out and hugged each other when the verdict was read.
"They're extremely emotional about this," said Sr. Deputy Prosecutor Jim Bentley. "This was a very traumatic thing to have happen. They've had since August to think about the loss they suffered. These are cases where nobody wins though. This is something nobody intended to have happen."
Fannin also had about two dozen supporters in court. After the verdict, he smiled as he hugged and thanked all of them.
"He's an outstanding person in our community," said Fannin's friend, Carrie Mcnemar. "Until you know him, you really can't make a judgment. I'm very disheartened for both parties."
Fannin's attorney told jurors that his client had a green light when he went through the intersection, claiming the traffic lights at Highway 94 and Curtis Road are faulty, and sometimes show green or yellow in all four directions.
The defense called the Ellicott Fire Chief and another fire employee who testified that they have seen the lights at the intersection malfunction in the past.
Fannin has been convicted of careless driving twice before and was on probation at the time of the deadly crash in August. He was off-duty from the sheriff's office at the time of the accident. He was fired the next month.
His sentencing will be April 11 at 1:30 p.m.