Denver Detective Accused Of Lying Reinstated

DENVER -- A Denver Civil Service Commission panel has reinstated a detective who was fired for allegedly lying about failing to follow a tip in a high-profile Stapleton hit-and-run case involving a pregnant woman.

A Denver Civil Service Commission panel reinstated Detective Jay Estrada with back pay and seniority after finding that then-Manager of Safety Charles Garcia failed to prove Estrada committed a willfully deceptive act, commission spokesman Brian Kellogg said on Tuesday.

Estrada was fired last June for allegedly committing a deceptive act.

On Tuesday, the three-member panel upheld a finding that Estrada made misleading or inaccurate statements and upheld his 16-day suspension without pay for that violation.

The hearing officers also sustained Estrada's fine of 16 hours pay for violating department rules regarding the duties and responsibilities of detectives.

The Estrada case centered on his handling of a tip in the December 2010 hit-and-run of Laurie Gorham Sherlock.

Sherlock, then 27, was hit by a sport utility vehicle as she crossed a street in Stapleton. Her near-term baby boy was delivered in an emergency surgery and later died. Police have not made an arrest in the case.

Estrada was on the traffic-accident investigations team at the time.

The Denver Post reported that Estrada received a tip about the hit-and-run and told a supervisor he hadn't gotten it. He repeated the story when he was questioned by Internal Affairs.

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