ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Rio Rancho man was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for a drunken driving crash that left his mother dead and 19-month-old son injured.
Jonathan Madrid, 33, pleaded guilty in March to vehicular homicide, child abuse and his third DWI in connection with the 2012 crash. Under the plea agreement, his prison term could be no longer than three years.
Madrid was driving north on N.M. 528 and turned west on Sundt Road on January 4, 2012. He was T-boned by a southbound truck. Police said a blood test taken later showed Madrid was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Madrid’s mother, 51-year-old Francis Madrid, was killed and the child was injured.
Roger Bargas, Madrid’s attorney, said proving his client was intoxicated at trial would have been difficult because the blood sample wasn’t taken until three hours after the crash and Madrid wasn’t under police observation during that time.
Judge George Eichwald, of the Thirteenth Judicial District, on Monday sentenced Madrid to six years in prison but suspended all but two years of the sentence. He will be on probation for five years after his release.
“What sticks out the most is that you have prior DWIs, prior convictions and you haven’t learned from those,” Eichwald said.
Kristen O’Connell, Madrid’s former fiancee, said after the hearing that the sentence was appropriate.
She said her son, who is almost 4 years old, had to have more than 40 stitches to his face and now is scarred.
“He will have scarring on his face for the rest of his life. And it’s not scarring that he will be able to hide,” she said during the hearing. “He’ll always have to deal with it — whenever someone gets close enough to have a face-to-face conversation.”
Assistant District Attorney Barbara Romo said the outcome was “remarkably good,” considering the evidence.
“It was a difficult case,” she said.
Madrid’s blood wasn’t drawn to test alcohol content within the statute-required time, she said, and, had there been a trial, the other charges would have hung on proving he was impaired.
“It’s a tragedy for everyone,” Romo said. “I just hope he really did learn something, because if this doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what does.”
Bargas said the crash happened at a “notorious” Rio Rancho intersection that is a frequent spot for car crashes. Bargas said the southbound truck was speeding and there was no evidence the driver pushed the brakes. He said his client and the other driver shared responsibility for the crash.
The other driver was not charged with a crime.
“In addition to charging my client, I think if both of them went to trial, it’s very likely both of them could have been convicted of a crime,” he said.
Madrid had two prior drunken-driving convictions and has also been arrested on a domestic violence charge. He received a deferred sentence in that case and was ordered to get alcohol counseling.