Two admitted drunken drivers were convicted of intoxication manslaughter in separate jury trials on October 11, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Rene Moreno, 27, was ordered to serve 20 years in prison, and Janeth Herrera, also 27, ended up in prison, but for nine years. They both had pleaded guilty and asked for probation; however, their requests were rejected by the jurors. Furthermore, both juries decided that their vehicles had been used as deadly weapons, which means that both Moreno and Herrera won’t be able to apply for parole until they have served at least half their sentences.
Moreno’s sentence is not only the maximum penalty for intoxication manslaughter but also the harshest by a jury in this type of case in recent memory. In 2010, Moreno was celebrating his 25th birthday and had been drinking and using drugs throughout night. While driving in the early hours of the morning, he fatally hit Ashlee Fleming, 19, as she was going to work. Moreno admitted in the cross-examination that he had driven drunk many times before the incident. He has remained sober since, but this was not enough to convince the jurors.
Herrera’s case was much like Moreno’s. She was driving while intoxicated, and caused the death of a Guatemalan immigrant Estanislao Alvarado-Gonzalez in 2009. Herrera asked for a lenient sentence–after all she has four children–but the jury was unmoved by her pleas. Her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit for intoxication.
Both Moreno and Herrera have been sentenced to long prison terms. If you find yourself accused of DWI or similar charges, you should get the best possible representation. An experienced defense attorney can help you avoid harsh penalties. Contact a skilled DWI defense lawyer in San Antonio, Texas today.