San Antonio mother: Man who killed son in crash got off too easy

'Holidays are not the same, my kids hate coming home,' mother says

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter, Rob Garza - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - More than four years ago, Marilynn Cooms received the most devastating news of her life.

"There was a knock on my door and I sensed something was wrong by the look on the two guys' faces," Coombs said.

Coombs oldest son, Xavier, was 20-year-old when he was killed in a crash on April 25, 2015.

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"Xavier thought he was a comic. He would do things just to get you to laugh (and) he was the strongest young man I know," Coombs said.

The driver, then 19-year-old Christopher Marchini, was charged with manslaughter and admitted he was driving about 15 miles over the speed limit.

Marchini made bail, but records show after several bond agreement violations for having marijuana in his system, state criminal district court Judge Ron Rangel said he did not stay out on bond long.

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"He has been in custody over three years and he's continuously in custody," Rangel said.

After a plea agreement, Marchini was sentenced to 10 years in prison but the time he served for violating his bond agreement counted towards the sentence.

Marchini was already eligible for parole after two-and-a-half years. But instead of the chance to walk free, Rangel gave Marchini shock probation.

"We agreed to place him in a lockdown facility in the penitentiary system, so he won't be released for another eight months," Rangel said. "By that time, (Marchini) would have been in custody about four years, which would be much longer than he would've been sentenced straight," Rangel said.

Rangel said after Marchini is released from lockdown, he will be on supervision under the court with very strict rules for another nine years.

For Coombs, she feels Marchini's punishment is too lenient.

"Holidays are not the same, my kids hate coming home. The system is broken, something has to change," Coombs said.

Coombs said she and her family are serving a life sentence.​​​​​​​

"This guy got to get married in prison...my son won't get married. He's had a baby, my son won't have a baby," Coombs said.

On Thursday afternoon, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales offered his condolences in a statement saying:

"We have relayed our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Coombs for the tragic loss of her son."

Coombs said she and her family will continue therapy and hope to continue to learn to cope.

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