Man pleads no contest in fatal Christmas Eve crash

Jordon Johnson (Source: MDC)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Jordon Johnson pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide Monday nearly three years after Kelly Chavez was killed in a 2018 Christmas Eve drunken driving crash.

Johnson, 26, faces up to 19 years in prison after slamming into Chavez’s Jeep on Coors NW as Chavez drove home from his sister’s Christmas Eve party.

Johnson’s sentencing hearing had not been scheduled as of Monday.

Chavez, 56, told family members the night of his death that he planned to leave the party early “because of all these idiot drunk drivers out there,” said his sister, Yvette Chavez Peña.

Chavez left the party about 8:30 p.m. and was about four blocks from his home when he was killed, Chavez Peña said Monday in a phone interview.

Assistant District Attorney Guinevere Ice said in a 2nd Judicial District Court hearing Monday that Johnson was speeding north on Coors and ran a stop light at Coors and Fortuna NW, striking Chavez’s vehicle. Chavez died at the scene.

At the time of his arrest, Johnson had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16, Ice said – about twice the presumed level of intoxication.

Chavez had three adult children and nine grandchildren, but had never met his youngest granddaughter, who was born last year, Chavez Peña said.

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