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Posted on: June 14, 2016

6/14/2016 - 18-Year Prison Sentence for Drunk Driver Who killed UTSA Student and Paralyzed Passenger

San Antonio, Texas, June 14, 2016: Late yesterday afternoon, 175th District Court Judge Mary Roman sentenced Carlton Jenkins, age 24, to 18 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the charge of Intoxication Manslaughter. Jenkins was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for the charge of Intoxication Assault. The two sentences will run concurrently. Additionally, Judge Roman entered a finding that the offenses that the vehicle used was a deadly weapon.

On February 16, 2014, just after 1:00 a.m., Brandon Guzman, age 21, was stopped at the light at Loop 1604 and West Hausman Road when his car was struck from behind. Witnesses told police a car, later identified as being driven by Jenkins, slammed into Guzman's vehicle at a high rate of speed, pushing his car completely through the intersection. Investigators believe Jenkins was traveling approximately 100 miles per hour when he crashed into the back of Guzman’s car. Guzman died on impact. Jenkins was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries. However, Jenkins' passenger, Joanna Avalos, was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the crash.

During Jenkins’ sentencing hearing, Avalos testified that Jenkins was extremely intoxicated the night of the crash and that she and the another passenger attempted to convince Jenkins to pull over just prior to crashing into the back of Guzman's car. Toxicology results showed that Jenkins had a blood alcohol concentration of a .20, more than two times the legal limit, when his blood was drawn. Guzman’s mother also testified about the tremendous loss she and her family suffered when her son was killed. At the time of his death, Guzman was studying to become a physical therapist at the University of Texas in San Antonio. Additional evidence was presented by the State showing Jenkins committed acts of family violence committed against his ex-girlfriend while Jenkins was out on bond for the instant offenses.

The offense of Intoxication Manslaughter is a second degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2 to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Intoxication Assault is a third degree felony that carries of range of punishment of 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and up to a $10,000.00 fine. The deadly weapon finding means that Jenkins must serve half of the 18-year prison sentence before he’s eligible to be considered for parole. Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Frazier and Joseph Hooker from the DWI Task Force prosecuted the case against Jenkins in the 175th District Court.

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