The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office confirms 56-year-old Jose Hernandez (pictured) had just served a three-year prison term on his fourth DWI conviction when he allegedly struck and killed 25-year-old Gilbert Ramos as he walked across the intersection near his home.
Cliff Herberg, first assistant D.A., said that moments earlier, Hernandez had been involved in a hit-and-run after allegedly rear-ending another vehicle a few blocks away, also on General McMullen.
Herberg said if Ramos was killed during the commission of another felony, the intoxication manslaughter charge against Hernandez with a 20-year maximum could be upgraded to murder and a possible life sentence.
As far as how it was possible for anyone with multiple drunken driving convictions to continue driving, Herberg said Texas is not one of those states that bars them from getting a driver’s license for several years.
After serving their prison terms, many convicted drunken DWI offenders in Texas can get their driver’s licenses and insurance, Herberg said, although many do not and still get behind the wheel.
Ramos’ family said Monday that will give them peace of mind given their tragic loss.
“He has kids he left behind and one on the way, and this man just came and took all that from him,” said Jessica Zavala, Ramos’ sister.
She said her brother had a pregnant girlfriend and two small girls, both under two years old, the oldest at 18 months has special needs.
Roxanne Wahreiht, another of Ramos' sisters, said given the driver’s string of DWI convictions, “He needs to go away forever. People like that do not need to be here.”