For the third time in two weeks, a drunken driver who plead guilty was sentenced to probation by a jury.
Four years ago, investigators said, Jose Castenada, 34, was driving drunk when he crashed into a car driven by a 29-year-old woman as he sped along Interstate 10.
She was killed. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
He plead guilty Tuesday, and on Thursday, a jury sentenced him to 10 years probation.
“Unfortunately, when we see things like these probation sentences in these terrible cases, that’s not necessarily sending that strong message back to the community that says, 'Enough is enough,'” said Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesperson Jennifer Northway.
The terrible cases Northway said she was talking about were two other cases in which a drunken driver plead guilty and was sentenced by a jury to probation.
Two weeks ago, Jacob Perez was sentenced to probation by a jury after he plead guilty to killing another motorist in 2009.
In another 2009 drunken driving case, Julie Bronson also plead guilty and was sentenced to probation. Prosecutors said she ran over and seriously injured a little girl who was with her mother in their own front yard.
“When you’ve got strong law enforcement and strong prosecution, at the end of the day, the outcome rests with the community,” Northway said.
In these cases, she said, the community were the juries. She said that they were sending the wrong message by their verdicts.