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Hit-and-run case involving Durango motorcyclist delayed another month

Brittany Dee appeared Friday in court with a new attorney
Jeanette Wages lost the lower part of her left leg after a pickup truck turned in front of her on July 23, 2023, in the 200 block of East Eighth Avenue in Durango as she rode her motorcycle. (Courtesy of GoFundMe)

The resolution of the case stemming from a July 23 hit-and-run crash that left a Durango motorcyclist missing the lower part of her left leg has been delayed another month.

Brittany Dee, 24, stood alone at the defense table dressed in a white blazer and high-tops during a brief hearing Friday in 6th Judicial District Court. Beale Tejada, a Denver-based private criminal defense attorney who entered an appearance to represent Dee on Wednesday, appeared virtually.

Given the recent change in Dee’s representation, Judge Anthony Baca agreed to set an arraignment hearing for next month.

The Utah woman is accused of hitting a motorcyclist while driving a Ford F-150 near the 200 block of East Eighth Avenue on July 23. The motorcyclist, Jeanette Wages of Durango, lost her lower left leg and suffered a head injury, dislocated shoulder, and a broken hand and wrist.

Dee’s male passenger stepped out of the vehicle to check on Wages before the couple sped away from the scene. Photos from a witness helped Durango Police officers identify the owner of the pickup who, when contacted, admitted to being the passenger in the pickup. When the passenger passed the phone to Dee, she admitted to driving the truck and leaving the scene, according to an arrest affidavit.

Dee was charged with careless driving, failure to yield the right of way and leaving the scene of a crash, according to court records.


Wages was “disappointed” at the delay.

“Hopefully we’ll have an answer here in a month and not have to go to trial,” she said.

In the minutes before the hearing began, around a dozen of Wages’ friends and supporters assembled in the lobby. Wages, who walked in with the aid of a cane and a prosthetic leg, was greeted with hugs.

Just yards away, a small group of Dee’s family and friends gathered in a morose huddle.

Last month, Baca rejected a plea deal that prosecutors struck with Dee, which would have resulted in a maximum of 90 days in jail that Dee could serve on weekends, so long as she maintained employment or was enrolled in school. She would have also had to take a driver’s education class, complete 300 hours of community service and serve three years on probation.

The case is being prosecuted by Jason Eley, an assistant district attorney in the 22nd Judicial District, which covers Montezuma and Dolores counties. The 6th Judicial District’s district attorney, Sean Murray, witnessed the crash and called 911, which caused a conflict of interest.

Jeanette Wages with her dog Gunner on March 20 in her La Plata County home. Wages was hit by a pickup truck while riding her motorcycle resulting in the amputation of her lower left leg. (Jerry McBride/ Durango Herald file)

Wages called the previous deal “woefully inadequate.”

“The way I see it, she hit every motorcyclist in the country,” one member of the gallery, dressed in a leather Harley Davidson vest, said.

Baca set an arraignment hearing for 1:30 p.m. June 6, at which Dee will enter a plea on the charges unless her attorney and the prosecutor work out a plea deal in advance.


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