Jury gives drunk driver in fatal wreck probation

Posted Friday, Mar. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH - A Tarrant County jury granted probation to a Grand Prairie man who police say was drunk when his vehicle collided with a tree and killed two friends he had known since high school.

Arturo DeLaHoya, who was 21 at the time of the wreck, faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each of two counts of intoxication manslaughter. He got two, 10-year, probated sentences.

The jury also assessed a $7,500 fine on each of the two counts of intoxication manslaughter. DeLaHoya was convicted on Wednesday. The jury began deliberating DeLaHoya's sentence Thursday afternoon and returned with a decision Friday morning.

DeLaHoya's two friends, Angel Zuniga and Juan Rodriguez, both 24, were pronounced dead on Oct. 24, 2010, at the scene of the collision in the 1000 block of Macon Street in Fort Worth. The three men were together the previous night watching a mixed martial arts contest with some other friends, according to trial testimony.

DeLaHoya's blood alcohol content was measured at .20, more than twice the legal limit, said Robert Foran, Tarrant County prosecutor. The estimated speed at the time that DeLaHoya's Chevrolet Avalanche pickup crashed into the tree was approximately 65 mph, Foran said in his opening statement.

A Fort Worth police officer testified that it was difficult to convince DeLaHoya, now 24 that his friends had died in the crash.

"He said it was their fault anyway," the officer told the jury. "They gave him the keys and they made him drive."

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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