Man found guilty in intoxication manslaughter trial

Denys Martinez could face 20 years in prison

A jury on Friday found a 29-year-old man guilty of driving drunk and at speeds of more than 100 mph when he crashed his car into a woman's vehicle, killing her.

SAN ANTONIO – A jury on Friday found a 29-year-old man guilty of driving drunk and at speeds of more than 100 mph when he crashed his car into a woman's vehicle, killing her.

During spirited closing arguments in the intoxication manslaughter trial of Denys Martinez, the man’s lawyer suggested that the woman, Rita Barbara Martinez, 60, was at fault for the crash at the intersection of Bandera and Evers roads in the early morning hours of May 7, 2017.

“There’s proof in the evidence that, in fact, he may not be (at) fault of this accident,” defense attorney Raymond Martinez said.

The lawyer said that the testimony of a witness supported his claim.

"She said that she saw Ms. Martinez turn into oncoming traffic," Raymond Martinez said. "She also said, but for doing this, that this accident would never have occurred."

Prosecutor Kristina Escalona was quick to counter that argument. Escalona said that the victim had the right of way as she turned from Evers Road onto Bandera Road.

"(The) defense was trying to make it seem like Barbara Martinez was in the wrong," Escalona said. "No! He was driving fast and he was drunk, is what she said, and it was his fault."

The defendant’s blood alcohol level was at 0.18, which is more than twice the legal limit, trial testimony revealed.

The punishment phase of the trial is set to resume Tuesday in Judge Jennifer Pena's 290th District Court.

Martinez could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.