GOLDEN, Colo. – Saying there was no chance for rehabilitation for the habitual criminal, a Jefferson County District Court judge handed down a stiff sentence Thursday that will put Patrick Engle behind bars for 96 years.
The 30-year-old will serve the rest of his life in prison for the death of Jessica Holman, 33, who died in a head-on collision with Engle as he tried to elude police in a stolen pickup truck on the 9600 block of Wadsworth Boulevard back on March 8, 2016.
Jurors found Engle guilty of Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Eluding, Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, Theft, Possession of Burglary Tools and another count of Motor Vehicle Theft last month. He has seven prior felony convictions on his record and was sentenced as a habitual criminal.
Jessica’s family reacts
“I’m glad he’s no longer a threat to the State of Colorado,” said Jessica’s mom, Terry Holman.
The victim’s dad, Mark Holman, told Denver7 that it felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Family members said they can now focus on healing and that they’ll do that by remembering Jessica.
“I’ll remember her fragrance,” Terry said. “She was always fragrant, had beautiful hair and a kind word for everyone.”
Mr. Holman said he’ll remember her hugs.
“Ferocious hugs,” he said. “That girl, if you look in the dictionary, under hugs, her picture was there, because she could hug you and you knew you got hugged.”
Mark Holman added that Jessica would make a positive out of any situation.
“As long as her toes were tapping,” he said, “everything was fine.”
The Holman’s say Jessica’s favorite color was purple. Today, family members and friends wore purple T-shirts with Jessica’s picture on the front and her name, Jessica Rose, spelled out in script on the back.
In court, Jessica’s brother, Jacob, said he was supposed to have dinner with her the night she died.
“She asked me to go with her,” he said, “but I was too tired.”
Jessica went to pick up dinner and was on her way back when Engle, who was fleeing from police, intentionally crossed the median into oncoming traffic, and slammed into her car.
“I have felt an emptiness in my heart and my soul, that I now realize will never go away,” Jacob said. “She loved both my kids.”
Jacob said he went to the scene of the accident that night and that the image of her body covered with a sheet “haunts” him to this day.
Engle declines to speak
Judge Dennis Hall asked Engle if he wanted to make a statement in court, Engle said, “No.”
The convicted killer’s mother, Deb Werth, did speak during the hearing.
“I just want to give my sympathy to this family,” she said. “I’m very sorry. Patrick is a loving person.”
Werth was then overcome with emotion, and returned to her seat.
The Holmans told Denver7 that Engle never accepted responsibility for his actions and that if he hadn’t received a 96-year sentence, he would get out of prison and would cause other families heartache and grief.