It has been almost three years since the death of Samuel Gilberto Pedraza. This morning, Laura Sanchez Saldaña plead guilty to intoxication manslaughter.
It was an emotional hearing. Pedraza’s wife had to be escorted out of the courtroom as she broke into tears before the trial began.
Saldaña plead guilty to the charge and asked for a jury to assess her punishment.
The incident happened on August 28, 2015, authorities responded to a traffic accident at the intersection of Texas 359 and EG Ranch Road. At the scene, police found a pickup truck in the middle of the intersection, where Pedraza was found dead at the scene. Officers also found Saldaña in the driver’s seat of her vehicle with blood on her face.
According to the police report, Saldaña struck Pedraza from behind. She had a .16 intoxication level, which is twice the legal limit. During opening statements, District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said bar owners allowed Saldaña and her friends to drink past closing hours.
A police officer who testified said based on the reconstruction scene, Saldaña was traveling 72 miles per hour on a 55 speed limit road. Adding that Saldaña continued to drive after the impact and that she never slowed down or stopped after striking Pedraza’s vehicle.
Saldana’s attorney is asking the jury to sentence his client to probation. More witnesses will be testifying in this case. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.