POSTED: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 7:11pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 11:34am
el paso tx — A sentence is handed down to a man who drove drunk and crashed, killing two people.
A jury decided on a sentence of 8 years in prison for Miguel Vargas, but he could actually end up spending 16 years behind bars.
"I think he's had 9 months to reflect on all of this. I think they considered the case very carefully and I think they came to a decision that I think is fair," said Defense Attorney Thomas Wright.
After seven hours of deliberation the jury came down with the sentence for Vargas. 8 years for 2 counts of intoxicated manslaughter and 10 years of probation for 2 counts of intoxicated assault. His maximum time in jail is 16 years and the minimum is 8 yrs.,but that's up for the judge to decide on Tuesday.
News Channel Nine caught up with his mother after the verdict.
“We are sad because my son will spend a lot of years in jail, but I thought it was actually going to be more. So we're content,” said Patricia Miranda.
No matter the punishment, two young women are gone forever. Miranda can't bring them back but she can only hope they'll be able to make peace.
"That they forgive us. My son would never have wanted to do that with his friends. My son is very hurt because of the loss. He loved them. They are all friends," said Miranda.
During the trial, a victim's family member made a threat to Miguel Vargas' sister after she posted comments on the accident online. Those comments were used as part of the prosecution's questioning. Judge Hicks increased security and separated the families during the trial.
The formal sentencing hearing will be Tuesday at 9:30 at the courthouse. Judge Bill Hicks will then decide whether Vargas will serve the two eight year sentences at same time or consecutively.