Jury finds Kaleb Fajardo guilty of intoxication manslaughter

Fajardo faces maximum punishment of 20 years in prison


A jury found Kaleb Fajardo guilty of intoxication manslaughter.

The punishment phase of his trial begins Tuesday.

Fajardo could face a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

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Even though Kaleb Fajardo was speeding and driving drunk, his lawyer said that a 61-year-old woman who was driving the minivan that Fajardo hit broadside was responsible for the fatal crash.

"Ms. (Sylvana) Sandoval was responsible for her own death," defense attorney George Dombart told jurors.

Dombart questioned speed estimates from the initial police investigation into the crash.

Police estimated Sandoval's speed at 32 mph when she exited a parking lot onto Rector Street the night of Feb. 26, 2016.

"That's just not a reasonable speed to make that corner, whether you're stopped or didn't stop," Detective Anthony Dimmick, an accident reconstruction expert, testified. "It's just completely unreasonable."

Dimmick said original estimates were flawed and estimated her speed at no more than 12 mph.

A defense witness testified concerning the angle at which Sandoval turned onto Rector Street.

"I have no idea how she turned, nor can anyone determine how she turned," said Jack Leifer, a physics expert. "It's impossible to know what her radius or curvature was based on the evidence."

The medical examiner testified that Sandoval had no alcohol in her system when she suffered massive head and internal injuries, which led to her death two days later.

The jury began deliberating the intoxication manslaughter case Monday afternoon.

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