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Pueblo West man suspected of vehicular homicide following crash that claimed the life of Shaleen Cruz

Joshua Casarez.
Joshua Casarez.(Pueblo Police)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 3:06 PM MDT
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PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A Pueblo West man was charged with vehicular homicide this week. The charges stem from an incident on April 18 which led to the death of his girlfriend, Shaleen Cruz.

According to the arrest papers obtained by 11 News, Joshua Casarez and Cruz were engaged in a domestic dispute outside of her home before the two entered Casarez’s 2012 Chrysler 300. Casarez then began driving frantically across Pueblo West. Witnesses say he was driving into oncoming traffic and running other cars off the road before he eventually crashed near the intersection of N. Purcell Blvd and E. Snyder Drive.

That crash killed Shaleen Cruz. The car’s electronic data recorder shows that Casarez was driving 90 miles per hour at 100% acceleration just four seconds before the crash. Later, blood tests would reveal that Casarez may have been under the influence of marijuana, MDMA, and cocaine while he was driving. His license had also been revoked in February.

There was an outcry from the community calling for “Justice for Shaleen” in the days after her death. The Facebook page of the same name has over 300 members.

The case has moved from the Pueblo Sheriff’s Office to the District Attorney’s office. Casarez is scheduled to appear in court again on July 7.

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