Jury to decide Vargas' punishment
POSTED: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 5:24pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 5:24pm
EL PASO — Today was the final day in the sentencing trial for Miguel Vargas. The 23 year was found guilty of two counts of intoxicated manslaughter and two counts of intoxicated assault. Vargas crashed his car last December while driving drunk, killing two and seriously injuring two others.
It's been a week long trial, with testimony from family members and survivors of the terrible accident, as well as witnesses and friends of Vargas. Now that a jury has found Miguel Vargas guilty, it's up to them to decide his punishment. Two witnesses took the stand this morning. Elsa Hernandez, the mother of Miguel's best friend Eric Hernandez said she's known Vargas since he was 15 and considers him a son. She described Vargas as humble, kind and always generous with his friends. She asked the jury to give Vargas probation.
Vargas took the stand and told the court how he had become religious since the accident and learned that God forgives. He also said he values his family and friends more since the accident. He did show some remorse and at times said how sorry he was for the accident, but maintained that he felt everyone in the car that night had some responsibility.
"I wish I was the one that's dead. Not Kimberly or Idaly", said Vargas.
Vargas asked the court to give him probation even though he admitted that both Kimberly and Idaly's lives are worth more. The prosecution and defense both gave their closing arguments to the jury and then took a lunch recess. The jury began deliberating at 2:15 Friday afternoon.
The maximum sentence Vargas could get is 60 years in prison and the minimum is probation.