The Campaign For DA

12.05.2013

The News, The Law, And Tragedy


A tragic story. A guy blows through a red light on a Dallas street while drunk and kills the other driver, his passenger (after she was in a coma for 400 days), and the unborn child of the passenger.

He pled guilty to "three counts" of Intoxication Manslaughter. Three? Yep. Texas criminal law states that an "individual" is "a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth."  So he caused three deaths in the eyes of the Texas Penal Code.

He agreed to a plea bargain of 15 years.

The story read: For all three deaths, Price will serve 15 years. The maximum he could have received was 20. He pled guilty to three counts of intoxication manslaughter as part of a plea deal agreed upon by each family involved. 

Now a portion of that is inaccurate. The maximum he could have received for each death is 20 years (a very real possibility because of these horrific facts.) But then it would be up to the judge to decide if he wanted to stack the sentences or run them concurrently.  There is nothing procedurally the Defendant could do to keep that decision out of the hands of a judge.

And the story is silent as to whether there was a "deadly weapon" finding as part of the plea bargain. If there is, he would have to serve at least half of the sentence. If not, the parole laws would allow him get out much sooner. (But, based upon experience, the parole board might keep him in there for well over half of the sentence even without a deadly weapon finding. It's hard to predict. Horrible facts and family members constantly dogging the parole board can lead to a longer incarceration.)