EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – BREAKING: The jury finds former boxer Joel Garcia guilty of 3 counts of intoxication manslaughter in the 2014 case where a fiery car crash killed Joshua and Isaiah Deal and Shannon Del Rio.
ORIGINAL: Jurors must decide if Joel Garcia was drunk the morning he crashed into a car carrying Joshua Deal, Isaiah Deal and Shannon Del Rio in 2014.
Assistant District Attorney James Montoya told the jury during closing arguments of Garica’s intoxication manslaughter trial this was a “pretty straightforward case.”
The state said the case was an effect of the choices made by Garcia that Christmas Eve night in 2014 and the consequences must now be dealt with.
The state told jurors they proved beyond reasonable doubt Garcia had been intoxicated while driving when the crash happened, through the witness testimony from cocktail waitresses and witnesses and the scene that night.
The state said Garcia was driving at 102 mph that night right when the crash happened, ran a red light and said this was due to alcohol impairing him.
The state told jurors they did not need to provide Blood Alcohol Content numbers to prove intoxication. As KTSM previously reported, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals officially ruled out blood evidence drawn from Garcia at the morning of the crash, saying police drew it without a warrant.
When defense attorneys began closing arguments, they told asked jurors to follow the law and consider reasonable doubt when deliberating.
The defense argued there is no doubt Garcia caused the accident but says the state could’ve charged for reckless driving or criminal negligence instead of intoxicated manslaughter because they failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was drunk.
Defense attorneys told the jury the state handpicked which witness to call to the stand and said they only called witnesses who provided a favorable testimony.
The defense also showed medical records from the night of the crash which implicated Garcia was alert and did not have slurred speech.
The jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon.