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Section A: General News


Driver in triple-fatal wreck gets 10-year prison sentence




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Wilson County News
April 25, 2012 | 3,407 views | 7 comments

Hector Esqueda -- the only passenger of a 1994 Honda Accord to survive a June 7, 2009, crash on U.S. 181 south of Poth -- has been sentenced to three concurrent, 10-year prison sentences for his role in that crash, according to court records. Judge Donna Rayes of the 81st Judicial District pronounced the sentence April 18 in Wilson County District Court.

Esqueda on Feb. 7 pled guilty to three counts of intoxication manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Priscilla Montoya, 20; Orlando Brown, 18; and Kara Denkewalter, 20, all of San Antonio. As part of Esqueda’s plea agreement, the prosecution stayed silent with regard to its recommendation for his punishment.

The prosecution also agreed to waive seeking a deadly weapon finding, which often occurs in intoxication manslaughter cases involving a motor vehicle. The deadly weapon finding would have required Esqueda to serve at least half of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Also in district court April 18:

•Marco Morales, 26, of Stockdale pled guilty to intoxication manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 29, 2010, death of 34-year-old Luke Gonzales of Stockdale. He is set to return to court for sentencing June 11, and faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

•Adrian Benavides, 29, of Floresville, who is charged with evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle and aggravated assault against a public servant, was present for a pretrial hearing. He is set to return to court for a docket call May 16, with jury selection in his trial set for May 29.

•Steven Edward Cole, 50, of Floresville, charged with five counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, was in court for a docket call. Cole’s charges stem from a Jan. 15, 2011, incident, in which he allegedly shot at officers outside his home north of Floresville. He will return to court May 22 for a pretrial hearing, with his next docket call set for June 13. Jury selection for his trial is set for June 25.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
William J. Gibbs Jr.  
WCN  
May 1, 2012 3:48pm
 

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
May 1, 2012 11:49am
 
And not required to serve at least half of the sentence. If this guy serves ten years I will be surprised.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
April 29, 2012 10:26am
 
To all the avengers.....The state promotes the use of a substance that affects a person's judgement and punishes that same person for exercising poor judgement. Sounds reasonable to me. The only justice in these type cases ... More ›

 
retiredinlavernia  
lavernia  
April 28, 2012 4:48am
 
Am I mis reading - Was he a passenger only or was he driving?? Is this similar to the felony murder statue - He was not driving but was involved so he gets the same punishment - I have not heard of this before??

 
William J. Gibbs Jr.  
WCN  
April 27, 2012 4:52pm
 
James Wheeler: Publius might be closer to the truth that you think. First, concurrent sentences do not run consecutively. Therefore, three 10-year sentences will be served in the same 10-year stretch of time. Second, with ... More ›

 
James Wheeler  
Downington, PA  
April 27, 2012 3:45pm
 
Actually, Publius, the sentence called for three concurrent ten year sentences, or thirty years total.

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
April 25, 2012 12:33pm
 
Looks to me like the DA's office laid down on the Esqueda matter. Kill 3 get 3 1/3 years each? Sound like justice to you???

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