SAN ANTONIO – More than two years after Linda Collier Mason was charged with intoxication manslaughter for hitting and killing cyclist Tito Bradshaw, a judge granted her a plea deal on Wednesday with minimal jail time and 10-years probation.
Mason, now 70 years old, was ordered to serve 20 days in jail and 100 days on house arrest.
Bradshaw’s family was unhappy about the plea deal and wanted the district attorney’s office to take the case to trial.
“I don’t think justice was served for us because we didn’t get the type of punishment we thought we were going to get,” Tito Bradshaw’s father Harry Bradshaw said. “They didn’t think it was a winnable case with a woman of her age with a trial jury, but I think it was wrong.”
Mason apologized after her sentence but during victim impact statements from the Bradshaw family, they said they didn’t feel that she was remorseful.
Mason was arrested at the scene of the accident on Apr. 1, 2019, on suspicion of intoxication assault. But, that charge was later upgraded to intoxication manslaughter after Bradshaw succumbed to his injuries.
In a rare move, San Antonio city councilman Manny Pelaez sent a letter to the district attorney and a judge asking for a “meaningful jail sentence” for Mason.
Pelaez stated in that letter that he believed a plea bargain proposal from Mason’s attorney was imminent and urged the judge and district attorney to “strongly consider insisting that the defendant serves a meaningful jail sentence.”
Because of that letter, Judge Jennifer Peña recused herself from the case, and it went to Judge Laura Parker.
Defense attorney Patrick Hancock said both sides agreed to the plea bargain because no expert could testify on who caused the accident.
“Causation was in issue and the victim, in this case, was just as likely to have caused the accident which led to his death,” Hancock said.
Hancock was referring to the fact that Bradshaw also had alcohol in his system.
Mason will be on house arrest immediately and will later serve her 20 days in jail after she gets her COVID-19 booster shot.
District Attorney Joe Gonzales issued the following statement about the plea deal --
“While proceeding to trial was an option, there is no guarantee of a conviction or prison sentence. After a thorough evaluation of the facts, evidence and unusual circumstances involved in this case, we determined the best course of action was to have this defendant accept responsibility for Mr. Bradshaw’s death in exchange for the maximum term of community supervision. At her time of release from probation, she will be 79 years old. Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Bradshaw.”