Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Driver who killed bicycling Utah judge quietly pleaded guilty
Crime » Inability to enhance charge spurs talk of modifying Utah’s law.
First Published Aug 20 2014 01:26 pm • Last Updated Aug 20 2014 10:42 pm

After a New Mexico man ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in the traffic death of 3rd District Judge Anthony Quinn, the Salt Lake County district attorney says legislators may consider changing the law so the punishment better matches the crime.

David E. Bertelson, 79, of Albuquerque, quietly pleaded guilty May 27 in connection with Quinn’s 2013 death in Mill Creek Canyon. Bertelson is now halfway through his six months’ probation sentence.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Bertelson pleaded guilty to a class B misdemeanor count of reckless driving. The crime is punishable by up to six months in jail. Holladay Justice Court records show that in addition to probation, which expires in late November, Bertelson was ordered to pay a $670 fine.

District Attorney Sim Gill said Wednesday he understood there were no "extenuating" circumstances — such as alcohol or drugs — that elevated the fatal crash to a more severe level.

Gill’s office recused itself from the matter since Quinn was a judge in its district. Gill passed the case along to the Davis County attorney’s office, which also concluded it could not file a felony or class A misdemeanor, before sending the case to the Holladay City prosecutor.

"It didn’t fit into the language of homicide," Gill said, pointing out how this case, along with others, illuminates a deficit in the law. Thus, there has been "some discussion on the Hill" about addressing that deficit and considering a legal remedy that weighs the loss of life more heavily, Gill said.

The 60-year-old Quinn was riding his bike up the canyon about 1:40 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2013, when Bertelson struck him.

The Unified Police Department determined that Quinn was riding on the correct, right-hand side of the road while Bertelson was headed down. At the time, UPD said Bertelson, perhaps distracted by the fall scenery, veered across the oncoming lane and into the shoulder, where he struck Quinn.

An exact cause for the crash, though, was never determined, UPD Lt. Justin Hoyal said Wednesday.

The culmination of the case, despite Quinn’s celebrity in judicial circles, came without notification from either prosecutors or the UPD, which investigated the matter.


story continues below
story continues below

"As a judge, [Quinn] always strove tirelessly to be fair and be prepared," his obituary read. "Despite his disciplined and hard-working persona, he was always quick with a joke, kinds and generous to those who knew him well."

Quinn was survived by his wife and three children.

Gill said Quinn’s case took seven months to reach court because it moved from his office to Davis County, back to his office, then to Holladay, which filed the case May 22.

The Holladay prosecutor’s office did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment.

remims@sltrib.com, mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims, @mikeypanda



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.