DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A jury has sentenced Juan Hernandez to 15-years in prison for the March head-on accident on I-20 near Hutchins. The accident killed Neri Garcia and left former Dallas County Community College police officer Milton Smith, 62, crippled for life. It’s just five years shy of the maximum sentence that the jury could have returned.
Listen: Milton Smith Reacts to Sentence
According to a toxicologist, Hernandez’s blood alcohol level after the crash was 0.224, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. Hernandez had earlier pled guilty to the two alcohol-related felonies.
Hernandez was sentenced to 15-years for intoxication manslaughter and received a 10-year sentence for injuring Smith. The judge determined that these sentences will be served concurrently.
Once the 15-year sentence is complete, Hernandez will then face deportation because Immigration and Customs enforcement says he’s in the country illegally.
Smith told a jury he cannot walk without a cane, cannot enjoy his grandchildren and is facing financial ruin because of the 26-year-old Hernandez. Doctors told his wife, the bullet-proof vest he was wearing, and his seat belt, saved his life.
The wreck happened on I-20 near Hutchins in March as Smith was driving home from a second job. Garcia was a passenger in Hernandez’s SUV.
Hernandez was also arrested in 2008 for possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
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