SAN ANTONIO – A jury deliberated for six hours Tuesday before returning a guilty verdict against a man who prosecutors said was high on methamphetamine and drunk when he crashed his car into a parked 18-wheeler trailer, injuring his three children.
Hector Hernandez-Pacheco, 30, who was charged with intoxication assault, faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced Oct. 9.
The defendant's lawyer, Alfonso Cabanas, argued during closing arguments that he was distracted by the children in the back seat, and that is what caused the crash. Cabanas reminded the jury of Pacheco’s statement to police that night.
"When they asked him what happened, his answer was, 'I turned around to the right to check on my kids, and I crashed into the trailer,'" Cabanas told the jury.
Noting that Pacheco admitted to police that he consumed seven or eight beers that night, and that toxicology tests showed that he had methamphetamine in his system, prosecutors said it was not reasonable to blame the children for the crash.
"This wasn’t a distraction, we can't blame the kids,” prosecutor Jessica Frazier said. "This is something we have to do when we are driving."
"There is ample evidence that he was intoxicated that night," prosecutor Jason Todd argued. "Ample evidence that he lost the normal use of his mental and physical faculties."
Hernandez-Pacheco must serve at least half of his sentence before he's eligible for parole since his car was determined to be a weapon.