Survivor of wreck forgives Vargas, asks jury to give him minimum sentence

10.04.12 - In a courtroom with no sitting room, jurors listened to witnesses called up by the defense and prosecution in the sentencing phase of Miguel Vargas.


Wednesday, Vargas was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter and two counts of intoxicated assault.


He is accused of getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking with four others including Kim Araujo and Idaly Reyes. Araujo and Reyes died in the fiery wreck in west El Paso near the intersection of Mesa and Executive Center.


Two others, Nefi Armendariz and Stacy Reyes were severely injured.


Nefi Armendariz, 21, still recovering from his injuries, told a jury he has forgiven Vargas since day one.


"It's tragic what happened but I don't feel any hate, I'm not mad at him," said Armendariz.


Armendariz asked the jury to give Vargas probation as a sentence.


The mothers of Araujo and Reyes don't feel the same way. They took the stand and told jurors Vargas deserves the maximum penalty for killing their daughters.


Araujo's boyfriend, Jesus Luna, told the courtroom it has been difficult raising their 3 year old daughter by himself.


"It's been really hard, I had to explain to my daughter why her mom is in a box," said Luna. He referred to the urn Araujo's ashes are stored in.


Vargas faces 2 to 20 years on each count of manslaughter and up to 20 years on each count of intoxicated assault.


Closing arguments are expected to begin Friday morning at the El Paso County Courthouse.

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