A couple of weeks ago, I read a report about an 18-year-old young man who was driving on May 29, 2009, and hit another vehicle and in which a 72-year-old man was killed. The young man received a two-year probated sentence and on another related charge, he received another two-year community service sentence, which would run concurrently. I continued to read and saw it listed the many times that this individual had problems controlling his speed. Your paper said that at the scene of the accident he was driving with an invalid inspection sticker and neither he nor his passenger were wearing seat belts. These are two offenses, I believe.
On Oct. 2, 2008, he was cited for speeding in Bee County; Oct. 25, 2008, he was issued a warning ticket for speeding in Bee County again and on Sept. 5, 2009, four months after the accident, he was issued a speeding ticket in Karnes County. Later, in December, three months after the speeding violation, he was given a warning for speeding in Goliad County. Finally, on Jan. 4 of this year, he was warned again in Hale County. I read this, and the word “habitual” comes to mind.
I read about a motion to revoke that was filed on Jan. 19, which stated that the defendant had been pulled over numerous times and warned verbally and in writing by local law enforcement officers to drive more safely. These officers had spoken to the defendant’s father, who was also a police officer, to try to encourage his son to slow down. On Jan. 2, 2011, the defendant committed the offense of reckless driving when he was driving 117 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone on Highway 181 and then refused to stop when the deputy activated his lights and siren.
All this, I read in your report, and I remembered another case a few years ago when a man allegedly was drunk and hit and injured some teenage kids. One young lady was the daughter of a prominent city official. This man was sentenced to 99 years, I heard. And I thought, I feel that if you want to drink and drive, then you are responsible for your actions. I also feel that if you want to drive recklessly then you need to be equally responsible. A vehicle is not a toy and can and should be considered a weapon at times!
Nevertheless, I can’t understand how a person who shows a history of disregard for our traffic laws and law enforcement personnel can take another person’s life and receive the sentence that he did. I can’t help but think that, perhaps if the man who lost his life had been the father of a police officer, maybe the sentence would have been different. I read all this and the only other word that comes to mind is “shame.”
I thank you for your time.