“According to the autopsy report, Marisol Paiz, a 17-year-old teen from George West, had a blood alcohol level of .306, which is almost four times the legal limit of .08,” said George West Police Chief Ray Garcia.
On Nov. 20, 2010, dispatchers received a 911 call at 2:46 a.m. from Christy Paiz (Marisol Paiz’s mother) stating her daughter had been drinking and “is not breathing.”
Those charged include Marisol’s brother, Ronnie Paiz Jr., sister-in-law Alejandra Buenrostro, uncle Cornelio Paiz, the uncle’s girlfriend Elda Lopez, a friend Eva Alaniz and her son Ruben Perez.
Police Sgt. Juan Garcia said there were a bunch of teenagers at a party on Catholic Cemetery Road who had allegedly gathered to commemorate the death of another teen a year before.
Sgt. Garcia said, “Eyewitnesses said the victim (Marisol Paiz) passed out and they put her to bed in one of the bedrooms. When her brother, Ronnie Paiz Jr., went back to check on her she was not breathing.
“Witnesses told us that Ronnie went across the street to his mother’s house instead of calling EMS right away. There is no telling how much time lapsed by the time EMS was called,” he said.
Chief Garcia added, “We don’t know how long it took, but by the time the officer got there all the teens at the party were gone. Only Marisol’s parents and brother were there. However, according to eyewitness reports, there were at least 17 minors at the party.
“We know who the party-goers were, but the only ones being charged are the ones who (allegedly) provided alcohol to minors.”
Chief Garcia continued, “I discussed this with District Attorney Martha Warner to see if we could get felony charges for negligent homicide. According to the book, it fits the criteria, but it was determined it would be easier to charge them with furnishing alcohol to minors. That charge is a Class A misdemeanor with one year or less in jail or less than $4,000 fine.
“We also considered charging them on multiple counts; one for each minor at the party, but decided to charge them with reference to the one victim. We have had too many alcohol-related deaths with the young kids in this community. When something like this happens in the city, we are going to investigate it and someone is going down. Someone needs to face the consequences; in this case six people are going to be taken to court to face the consequences.”
In closing, Sgt. Garcia said, “The initial responding officer, Jorge Medina, who came out that night did a lot of good, investigative work. Then we all pulled together, the whole PD got involved, and with a lot of legwork we broke the case. We even used Facebook to track down the party-goers and those who planned the party.”