Lubbock man sentenced to six years in prison for crash injuring - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock man sentenced to six years in prison for crash injuring 5 people

Nicholas Melton, 36 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) Nicholas Melton, 36 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Source: KCBD Photo Source: KCBD Photo

A judge has sentenced a Lubbock man to six years in prison for causing a crash that injured five people, including a six-year-old girl. 

On May 22, 2014, Nicholas Melton crashed into vehicles outside of a southwest Lubbock Walmart.

Earlier this month, 36-year-old Melton pleaded guilty to two separate charges of aggravated assaults, which are second degree felonies. 

On Friday, a judge sentenced Melton to six years in prison for the first charge and 10 years of community supervision for the second charge.

Tears streamed down Melton's face as the then six-year-old victim's mother, Gloria Daniel, took the stand and said despite her daughter's injuries, her family forgave him.

We spoke with Daniel about the night she said she will never forget.

She said her passenger saw Melton's car headed straight toward their vehicle and thought surely, he would not hit them.

"That is when I heard him press the gas, and that is when I knew he was doing it on purpose," Daniel said.

Daniel said her six-year-old daughter Mariah Ybarra was strapped into her car seat, but was seriously injured from the crash.

Daniel showed Melton pictures taken of her daughter lying in a hospital bed.

Mariah is now nine-years-old and while she is no longer in the hospital, Daniel said her life will never be the same.

"Two years later, Mariah has permanent brain damage on the left side of her brain, which causes the right side of her body to be affected," Daniel said.

Despite her injuries, Daniel said her daughter is not angry and when she asked Mariah what she wanted to happen to Melton, her daughter simply said "nothing."

"From what you told me, he has a family and he has kids too, and he needs to be at home with his family," Mariah reportedly told her mother.

"I was in such a storm and she calmed my storm and she gave me the peace that I needed to live on to know that she didn't want anything," Daniel said.

Tears streamed down Melton's face when Daniel told him that her daughter forgave him.

One of Melton's attorneys, David Guinn, said words cannot describe how horrible Melton feels.

"He is haunted by this every day for everyone he has scared, hurt, injured and especially precious little Mariah Ybarra. If he could trade his health and give it to her, he would," Guinn said.

Guinn said the victims and their families are some of the greatest people on the South Plains and in the world to give Melton their hearts and forgive him.

"They said they would pray for him, which is incredibly humbling. They are marvelous people and sorry is not near the word Nick can express for the shame and guilt and the haunting he feels for his conduct a couple of years ago," Guinn said.

Once Melton is released from prison, he will begin his community supervision and begin to pay Mariah's family $800 a month for ten years.

Lubbock County District Attorney Tom Brummett said that money will go toward Mariah's rehabilitation.

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