EDINBURG — A 31-year-old man convicted of accident involving death will have to spend some time in jail after all.
At a formal sentencing hearing Wednesday morning, state District Judge Letty Lopez ordered Leonel Martinez Adame to serve 120 days in county jail within six years.
He will have to serve the time on weekends and with vacation time.
A jury sentenced Adame Tuesday night to seven years probation for the downtown McAllen drunken driving accident that killed 21-year-old Kevin Andrade on July 15, 2017.
However, the official sentencing did not take place until Wednesday morning so that a probation officer could be present.
At that hearing, Lopez told Adame how she struggled to decide whether to sentence Adame to prison time.
But what stuck out in her mind, is how he left the scene of the accident after hitting Andrade after he had been drinking.
“What impressed me and struck me is you didn’t even brake, you didn’t even brake, when you hit that man,” Lopez told Adame.
She then grilled the man about whether he felt the impact, which sent Andrade flying 54 feet away from the impact, and whether he struggles with the fact that he killed a man.
“I have no idea how you’re going to deal with that, the idea that you killed a man” Lopez said. “Because that’s what you did, you killed a man.”
Adame told Lopez he is struggling with the fact and said he is depressed.
After Tuesday’s hearing, Andrade’s family expressed disappointment that the man who killed their loved one wasn’t going to jail.
Jesus Andrade, the victim’s brother, called the sentence a slap on the wrist that wouldn’t send a message to the community about drinking and driving.
The man’s mother, Rosalinda Andrade, said juries need to think about the pain a mother who lost her child goes through.
“Not just this family but all families that have gone through this and are going through it now,” she said in a statement.
Adame initially faced an intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle charge, but the jury instead convicted him of DWI, a lesser charge.
Evidence and testimony in the case revealed that Andrade, who was intoxicated, ran out into traffic and that Adame had the right-of-way at the time of the accident.