Truck Driver Found Guilty of Criminally Negligent Homicide
After nearly five hours of deliberations a Yoakum County jury found 50-year-old Guadalupe Soto Medina, guilty on three counts of criminally negligent homicide, but not with a deadly weapon. Because of that, Medina now faces a maximum of six years in prison rather than 30.
The trial was centered around a fatal accident on December 3rd of 2004. Troopers say Medina ran a stop sign and crashed his tractor trailer into a van. The impact instantly killed elementary school teachers 37-year-old Marina Natividad, 29-year-old Veronica Flores and 47-year-old Rosie Garza. It happened at an intersection just North of Denver City. The trial took place just 20 miles away in Plains.
After more than a year, three crosses still mark the scene of that fatal accident and one victim's family members say the only true justice would be a forth.
"Justice would have been if he would have died too, but it didn't happen that way," said Joey Natividad.
Natividad's wife, Marina was driving the van Guadalupe Medina crashed into. Joey says he just wants Medina to take responsibility for his actions. "What I really want is for him to admit he did something. Show some remorse; he has not show remorse at all."
Criminal District Attorney Richard Clark says that was the purpose of the trial. "It's part of holding him accountable, cause that was a big issue for the families. He never admitted responsibility."
"He has not tried to contact anybody to say I'm sorry - that's all we wanted, and he has not given us that," said Natividad.
"That really angers the families, almost to the point of hatred," Clark said.
"As hard as I try to hate him, I just can't," Natividad said.
With the conviction of criminally negligent homicide, Medina could face six years in prison when he once faced 30.
"He will only be given possibly two years of jail time per account. Which is injustice. Six years for the life of three - that's injustice," said Marina Natividad's brother Christopher Granado.
"If he looses his freedom for a bit it's nothing, he still gets to come back to his family - my son does not get to see his mom come back," says Natividad.