Juan de Dios Cordova, convicted in November of vehicular homicide and other charges in the 2011 death of motorcyclist Mark Wolfe of Algodones, got a 29-year prison sentence this morning.
That was the maximum sentence that District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer could give Cordova, who was accused of driving drunk and killing Wolfe as Wolfe, his wife and friends were on a motorcycle ride on the High Road to Taos over Memorial Day weekend.
Despite several problems with the investigation of the crash – including the loss of Cordova’s truck as evidence, when it was destroyed by a towing yard – Cordova was convicted of vehicular homicide, two counts of great bodily injury by vehicle, two counts of aggravated DWI and one count of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident.
Wolfe, his wife Debbie Hill and four friends — members of the Duke City Drifters, an Albuquerque-based motorcycle club that Wolfe led — were enjoying a motorcycle trip through northern New Mexico when a pickup truck investigators say was driven by a drunken Cordova crossed the center line.
The truck plowed into the lead bike, killing Wolfe, 51, a mechanic and veteran who loved New Mexico history.
Hill, riding on the back of Wolfe’s bike, was seriously injured. One of the other riders called the crash “a nightmare.”
At this morning’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors persuaded the judge that Cordova’s offenses constituted a serious violent crime, meaning he will earn “good time” sentence reductions at a reduced rate. He also got enhanced time behind bars because of a prior DWI conviction.