The families of the victim and man convicted in a deadly 2015 DWI crash took the stand for emotional testimonies as the first day of sentencing began on Friday.
As KTSM reported, Jesus Mireles drove while intoxicated and slammed into several cars and food trucks on the 8900 block of Dyer.
His boyfriend, Daniel Nicholas Mendoza, 25, died as a result of the crash.
Mireles was found guilty of murder on Thursday.
Mendoza’s family members took the stand first on Friday. The victim’s father, Victor, said he has been diagnosed with depression and PTSD following his son’s death.
“It’s hard to go on,” he said while crying. “I’m always depressed and can’t be happy.”
Victor continued his testimony, telling jurors about his son’s character.
“He was such a good kid, always had everyone smiling, never any problems with him,” he said.
Mendoza’s mother, Ruth, also took the stand, telling prosecutors that her husband is not the same person as he was before their son’s death.
Ruth also told the defense that the Mireles family attended her son’s funeral.
“They came the day after the accident to express their condolences,” she said.
The defense later called two felons — one convicted of murder and the other for drug possession — to the stand.
The felons told the courtroom that, as a “gay man”, Mireles could face regular sexual assault and other dangers while in prison.
“It’s dangerous, a lot of people commute suicide all the time because they can’t take it.”
The defendant’s uncle, Juan, also testified and agreed with the felons’ assumptions.
“Jesse is a good-looking guy, and he is a homosexual,” he said. “I can’t even imagine what he’ll have to go through.”
His brother, Daniel, took the stand to express his sorrows to the victim’s family
“From the bottom of our hearts, were very, very, sorry,” he said tearfully. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”
He also explained how the ordeal has impacted his family. “It’s broken us,” he said.
Daniel said he, too, is concerned for his brother’s safety while behind bars. “I wish I could switch places with him,” he told the defense. “I can’t protect him. Please have mercy on my brother!”
The defendant’s mother, Veronica, was the final person to take the stand on Friday.
“I’m sorry for their son’s loss,” she said. “I pray for them every single day. “No matter how old they get, they’re still our children.”
Veronica said she is also scared about what could happen to him in jail. “He’s a good young man with a big heart,” she said.
The defense later asked the mother if she will welcome her son with open arms once he gets out of jail.
“Yes, he’s my baby,” she replied emotionally. “Please have mercy on my son, I beg you!”
The courtroom then became solemn before Veronica had to be pulled out because she was holding onto her son.
The sentencing has recessed for the day and will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.