A Santa Fe jury on Tuesday convicted a Moriarty man who prosecutors say backed into a group of cyclists during a 2018 road-rage incident.
Jacob D. Brown, 41, was found guilty of great bodily injury by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm and reckless driving.
Brown faces over four and a half years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum penalties against him at his sentencing hearing, scheduled for February.
Brown was heading south on N.M. 41 near Galisteo in March 2018 when he exchanged words with members of the Seniors on Bikes cyclist group who also were on the road, according to court documents.
After passing them, Brown stopped and reversed into the cyclists, knocking several of them down, a Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy wrote in his report.
One of the cyclists, Douglas Harrel, then 63, suffered serious injuries, including 12 broken ribs, two collapsed lungs, a broken pelvis, a broken cheekbone and dislocated shoulder. Two others also had broken bones.
Sheriff’s deputies took Brown into custody following his conviction.
Brown’s attorney asked state District Judge T. Glenn Ellington if the defendant could arrange to turn himself in at a later date so he could put his affairs in order — noting Brown takes care of his grandmother. Ellington denied the request.
“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict, and appreciate their thoughtful deliberation,” First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna said in an email after verdict was read. “Our team of prosecutors worked hard to bring the victims closure and to give them their day in court. This case demonstrates how crucial it is to be patient with and to share our roads with our cycling community.”
Harrel could not be reached for comment late Tuesday. A spokesman for Seniors on Bikes said in an email the group was encouraged by the verdict.
“We are thankful that Santa Fe citizens are supportive of the rule of the rule of law and that cyclists are not considered targets on our roads,” he said. “We hope everyone stays safe: motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”