Retired Army colonel accused in Colo. trooper’s death

Sadie Gurman, Associated Press
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Denver — A retired Army colonel struck and killed a Colorado State Patrol trooper with his truck as she was investigating a crash south of Denver, then fled before he was arrested on homicide and drunken driving charges, authorities said Monday.

Trooper Jaimie Jursevics, 33, died Sunday night on southbound Interstate 25 near Castle Rock.

Eric Peter Henderson, 52, who had served in Iraq and Kuwait, hit the trooper as she was using her flashlight to direct him to the side of the highway to see if he was driving while drunk, an arrest affidavit states

A trooper who had been following Henderson’s pickup truck told investigators he heard Jursevics scream and saw her flashlight fly through the air.

Henderson drove about 15 miles before he was arrested on charges including vehicular homicide, leaving the scene, careless driving causing death and driving under the influence. He was being held in the Douglas County jail on $1 million bond.

Henderson’s daughter, Frankie Henderson, declined to immediately comment.

Eric Henderson refused to answer a detective’s questions without a lawyer but seemed shocked, crying in the interview room, “’I killed a cop,’” according to the affidavit.

His passenger, Craig Whitehill, told investigators he had attended the Denver Broncos game with Henderson, who drank at least six beers while they were together. He added, however, that nothing about Henderson’s driving concerned him.

Whitehill said he fell asleep and was awakened by a “big thump,” the affidavit says.

The Army said Henderson retired in June 2013 from the Space and Missile Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs after a 27-year career in the military.

He was twice deployed to Iraq and four times to Kuwait, according to his military records.

Jursevics, a four-year veteran of the state patrol, was married and had a young child. Troopers lined up outside patrol offices in Castle Rock and saluted as a coroner’s procession carried the trooper away.

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