This morning, a Bexar County Judge sentenced a local man to 20 years in prison for a crash that left a father and his daughter dead.
Cesar Gonzalez, 21, pled guilty of two counts of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Evidence showed on Jan. 1, 2020, Gonzalez was driving a pickup while driving 85 miles per hour when he struck a minivan backing out of the driveway in the 3400 block of W. Popular Street. The impact caused the van to catch fire, which Gonzalez saw but chose to run from the scene. Jesus Aguilar Junior and his three children were inside the van. Family members heard the crash and came outside to try to help Aguilar to free his children from the burning vehicle. Christina Spohn, 14, was ejected from the van and died from her injuries. Aguilar, 31, was trapped inside the van and died. Aguilar’s 5-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter were burned in the crash. They survived, as did other members of the family who were burned trying to help.
Gonzalez testified that he saw the fire and heard people screaming, but he chose to run from the scene. Gonzalez said it “was a mistake that I can’t fix.”
Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl sentenced Gonzalez to the maximum allowed by law for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently as state law does not allow for the sentences to run consecutively.
“My heart goes out to the entire Aguilar family. In one moment, they went from celebrating the promise of the New Year to grieving the loss of their loved ones. This defendant made a series of terrible choices that can never be undone. His recklessness could have harmed or even killed more people. This family has waited through the pandemic to have this case be resolved. Now that the defendant has been sentenced, I hope they can finally work on healing from this tragedy,” said Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales.
Assistant District Attorney Madeline Flosi of the Criminal Trial Division prosecuted this case in the 175th District Court. The San Antonio Police Department investigated the crime.