A San Antonio woman has been sentenced to 55 years in prison in the felony murder drunken driving deaths of four people.
Judge Melisa Skinner determined that the vehicle 40-year-old Valerie Andrews was driving on the night of Aug. 8, 2010, was used as a deadly weapon, meaning that Andrews will have to serve at least half of the sentence before being eligible for parole consideration.
The sentences will run concurrently.
The night Andrews was arrested, a San Antonio police officer said he observed Andrews driving erratically, then running a red light, on Roosevelt Avenue on the city's South side. The officer said he attempted to pull Andrews over, but she sped away, thereby committing the felony offense of evading detention.
Andrews fled down Lorita Street, investigators said, and ran a stop sign at the intersection of Lorita and South Flores and crashed into a car driven by Marcela Perez, 21. Also in the car was Marcela's mother, Maria Aguilar de Perez, 55, Alejandra Perez, 15, and Brian Perez, age 4 months.
All four of the car's occupants died in the collision.
Skinner ruled that because the victims died while Andrews was evading detention, the felony murder rule applies.
Andrews was indicted for four counts of murder by a Bexar County grand jury on Oct. 10, 2010.
Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If the case was not charged under the felony murder rule, the offense would have been intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony.