Denver Trucker Convicted Of Killing Gillette Family Of Five

A jury convicted a Denver truck driver on Wednesday of five counts of vehicular homicide for killing a Gillette family of five in June, 2022. A mother of one of the victims told Cowboy State Daily she felt "some kind of justice" had been served.

Clair McFarland

March 29, 20243 min read

Site of June 13, 2022, crash in Weld County, Colorado.
Site of June 13, 2022, crash in Weld County, Colorado. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A jury convicted a Denver truck driver of five counts of vehicular homicide Wednesday, for killing a Gillette family of five in June, 2022.

The truck driver, Jesus Puebla, who is now about 28, was also found guilty on five other traffic violations.

The mother of one of the victims felt relief, joy, and gratitude the moment she heard the verdict.

“There’s so many different emotions,” said Dez Everts, mother of Halie Everts, who died in the crash. “It’s a big relief, there’s been some kind of justice now – because there hasn’t been any since that day.”

The trial started last week and lasted eight days. Dez Everts and her family spent each of those days bracing themselves for the possibility of an acquittal, she said. When they heard 10 convictions instead, they hugged each other and cried.

No Skid Marks

Traffic had slowed to a crawl June 13, 2022, on Interstate 25 near Greeley, Colorado.

Aaron Godines, 20, was driving his Ford Edge. Also in the vehicle was his fiancée Halie Everts, 20, their 3-month-old daughter Tessleigh, and Godines’ parents: Emiliano, 51, and Chrstina Godines, 47.

All five of them died in the crash.

Traveling 76 mph, Jesus Puebla rammed directly into the back of the Ford Edge.

Colorado State Troopers found no skid marks preceding the impact. Court documents include interviews by others, who said Puebla was driving recklessly just prior to the crash.

Puebla’s trial this week and last contemplated whether Puebla’s employer was actually the culprit. He testified that he pressed the brake and the truck did not slow down.

The defense also claimed that Aaron Godines swerved in front of Puebla, but a dash camera refuted that, Everts related from the trial.

It was hard to watch Puebla testify, Everts said.

But when they handcuffed him and took him into custody, Everts and her family were relieved that he would no longer be driving.

“I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through what we’ve been through,” said Everts.

Another man who’d been in the crash, whom Everts identified as Oscar, was also in the courtroom with the Everts family.

His ribs and back broke in the crash and at 46, he’s still struggling, Everts said.

Family Vacation

The Godines/Everts family had gone to Colorado to celebrate the young couple’s birthdays, which were a few days apart from each other that spring, and to take Aaron’s mother to a medical appointment.

Back in Gillette, Dez Everts knew something wasn’t right when Halie didn’t call her to say they were on their way home. Aaron’s sister couldn’t get ahold of the family either.

Everts started calling hospitals, police, highway patrol agencies. Just when she started packing to go to Denver and search for her daughter herself, a trooper called Everts to tell her all five people in her daughter’s car had died.

Everts dropped to her knees.

“I didn’t want it to be real,” she told Cowboy State Daily that year.

A lengthy investigation, the case was charged six months after the wreck happened.

Everts expressed gratitude Thursday to the prosecutor, Yvette Guthrie, and to each juror on the panel. She said it was a thorough investigation and the prosecutor had a good case.

“The truth was revealed,” said Everts.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter