Jury selected in intox manslaughter case; openings to begin

EDINBURG — Prosecutors and defense attorneys representing a 21-year-old Edinburg man accused of three counts of intoxication manslaughter selected a jury at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Jury selection began at 9 a.m. in the case of Luis Gonzalez, who is also facing a count of intoxication assault with a vehicle for a deadly Aug. 9, 2018, head-on collision that killed 55-year-old Maria Isabel De La Garza, 33-year-old Marci Lou Powell and 3-year-old Joshua Devin Powell in the 300 block of East Monte Cristo Road.

On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Roxanna Salinas made a final plea deal offer to Gonzalez of 70 years in prison, 20 years on each count of intoxication manslaughter and 10 years for the count of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injuries with the sentences to be stacked, as opposed to being served concurrently.

On the advice of his attorneys — Adolfo Alvarez Jr. and Oscar Vega — Gonzalez formally rejected the plea, setting the stage for his trial.

After the jury was selected, state District Judge Fernando Mancias swore in eight witnesses, including Jeanna Guajardo, who survived the accident. Witness testimony will follow opening statements.

Mancias also admonished family members of the deceased, telling them not to discuss the trial on social media.