Green River Star -


Plea change averts trial


October 11, 2017

A late change of plea hearing Friday morning resulted in a trial for George Maestas being cancelled.

His trial was scheduled to start Tuesday.

Maestas, 68, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated homicide by vehicle and one count of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance resulting in serious bodily injury. The three charges combined could result in a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Maestas plead without making a plea agreement with the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office.

Appearing before District Court Judge Nena James, Maestas was soft spoken throughout the hearing, having to use the district courtroom’s microphone system to be clearly heard. His sentencing hearing will start Thursday at 9 a.m.

Maestas’ court appearances end nearly seven months after killing one-year-old Stella Doak and her grandmother Debra Devries after driving through a residence in Green River March 10.

Maestas also severely injured another occupant in the house, Frank Johnson, who suffered from broken ribs, a fractured vertebrea and a collapsed lung.

At the time of the crash, court documents report Maestas appearing disoriented and was suspected of being under the influence of a drug other than alcohol.

During an evaluation by a Green River Police Department drug recognition expert, Maestas admitted he had been drinking at the Embassy Tavern, leaving the bar at about 2 a.m. that day. He also admitted to taking a Lortab pill given to him by a man at the bar. Before falling asleep, he also said he took a dose of Nyquil sometime between 3 a.m., and 4 a.m. He said he woke up at about 7 a.m. and left his home about two hours later. He drove to Smith’s Food and Drug to pick up some food, then drove to a friend’s house to return the truck he was driving. He said his last memory before the crash was turning off of Hitching Post onto Monroe Avenue.


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