of Qwest exec killed on turkey hunt files lawsuit
By Associated Press
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, July 14, 2006
The family of a Qwest executive killed while turkey hunting
filed a lawsuit Thursday against the ranch that hired and
gave a rifle to the suspect, an illegal immigrant who fled
to Mexico after the shooting. Jeffrey R. Garrett, 37, of
Aurora, was killed May 14, 2005, while hunting on federal
Bureau of Land Management land.
According to the suit, Oscar Hoyos DeLaCruz, 50, was working
on the Bear Wallow Ranch in Garfield County next to the BLM
land when he fired a .22-caliber rifle at what he thought
was a turkey.
The shot struck Garrett, an assistant vice president for
Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc.
DeLaCruz was arrested last month in Mexico and will be
prosecuted there, facing up to 24 years in prison.
Representatives of Bear Wallow Ranch did not immediately
return an after-business-hours message left Thursday night.
Garrett's wife, Charlotte, sued DeLaCruz and the
Georgia-based ranch owner, Land West Ventures Inc., on
behalf of herself and Garrett's two children, Olivia, 4, and
The suit claims Land West Ventures was negligent in hiring
DeLaCruz and in giving him a rifle. The suit also claims
Land West employees knew DeLaCruz fled the county after the
shooting and did not alert investigators.