EL PASO, Texas - An emotional sentencing in district court this morning as Eric Barajas was sentenced for killing Angela Gonzalez and Orlando Figeroa as they crossed
a street on October 30th of 2009.
On Saturday a jury found Barajas guilty on two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter. This morning he learned his fate, 12 years in prison.
Barajas's family broke out in tears as the sentence was handed down by Judge Patrick Garcia.
As the sounds of sobbing and crying filled the courtroom , Atilano Barajas, Eric's father, went up to Orlando Figeroa Senior, the father of one of the victms and hugged him telling him how sorry he was. Figeroa replied "esta bien yo comprendo el dolor que estan pasando no tengo rencor" (its okay I understand the pain they are suffering and don't hold a grudge) Both men then broke down in tears.
Eric Barajas's young son hugged his father, crying out loud as his family and friends held Eric's hands and formed a prayer circle in front of the judge's bench. After praying a few minutes they said their last good-byes to him.
Outside the courtroom defense attorney Theresa Caballero told ABC7 there were no winners because of emotions in this trial. Caballero said she and the prosecution agreed to the sentence on Saturday because she didn't trust the jury claiming jurors had been deadlocked 11 to 1 during deliberations Saturday adding jurors had called the one juror who thought Barajas was not guilty unattentive and confussed.
Caballero also mentioned the case was a clear issue of causation since both victims were intoxicated when they crossed the street moments before being struck by Barajas's car.
The attorney then told us she has a study that indicates drinking and walking is 8 times more dangerous than drinking and driving.
Barajas will be eligible for parole in 6 years.