Former local boxer Joel Garcia is sentenced to 33 years in prison after being found guilty for three counts of intoxication manslaughter.
While the Cisneros family told KTSM justice has been served, the defense attorney Brent Mayr said Garcia will always be praying for them.
It’s been almost 5 years since Garcia drove drunk and killed Joshua and Isaiah Deal, and Shannon Del Rio.
“We’ve waited almost five years for Joel Garcia to be held accountable for his crimes, which is a tragedy in itself,” Dee Cisneros, Joshua and Isaiah’s mother shared, “We knew going into this trial, that no sentence would be sufficient enough to compensate for the three beautiful people he took from this world with his selfish act.”
The jury sentenced Joel Garcia 16 and a half years per count of intoxication manslaughter charges.
On Wednesday morning, the judge ruled the first and third charge for Joshua Deal and Shannon Del Rio will be concurrently served which totals to 16 and a half years. The second charge for Isaiah Deal will be served consecutively which adds another 16 and a half years and totals Garcia’s prison sentence to 33 years.
“Giving 33 years, the jury and the court made a statement,” Cisneros said, “Intoxicated manslaughter is not an accident, it is a choice and choices have consequences.”
“Obviously nothing that the judge or the jury could do could never bring back Shannon, Isaiah and Joshua but the defendant’s been held accountable for his conduct and I think the verdict and the sentence reflects the magnitude of their loss,” prosecutor James Montoya said.
The Deal, Cisneros, and Del Rio family shared how their lives were forever changed on Christmas Eve of 2014.
On the final day inside the courtroom, they reflected on Joshua, Isaiah, and Shannon’s lives by sharing a video compilation of highlights and memories.
Garcia apologized to the families in the courtroom after he heard his sentence.
During victim impact statements, Del Rio’s father took the stand and told Garcia, “That pathetic apology doesn’t mean anything…if you had been a good father, you would’ve been at home with your son that night.”
Tatiana Hernandez, Joshua and Isaiah’s aunt, said, “I want you to know that at no time did you fool anyone. Your tears were for your own predicament for which you created.”
Mayr said Garcia accepted the punishment but still is remorseful, “We can’t guarantee a lot as lawyers but I can guarantee you that Joel Garcia is going to spend every day of his life thinking about what he did and what he caused and everyday he will continue to ask for forgiveness and mercy.”
Garcia will be at the El Paso County Jail facility for at least 30 days. The family has the same amount of time to choose and make a decision to appeal.
Garcia will then be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where he’ll begin serving his sentence.