Angelina County judge approves 10 years deferred for driver in fatal wreck

Angelina County judge approves 10 years deferred for driver in fatal wreck

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County judge approved a plea bargain deal of 10 years of deferred adjudication for a man who was under the influence of alcohol when he caused a wreck that killed Justin James-lee Mariana in July of 2015.

Daniel Martin appeared in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court Monday morning for a sentencing hearing. White approved of the plea bargain deal, which means Martin will serve a sentence of 10 years of deferred adjudication in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge of reckless conduct.

During the deferred adjudication, he will be required to adhere to conditions like those imposed on a person serving probation. Among other things, he will be banned from consuming alcohol or any other controlled substance.

Martin will also have to pay a $1,000 fine, pay restitution, and perform community service. In addition, he will not be allowed to own a gun during the deferred adjudication period.

Michael Robert Mariana, the brother of the victim killed, was in the car during the crash and was taken to a hospital but survived. Martin was initially charged with intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle and intoxicated assault with a vehicle.

The surviving victim and the deceased were both intoxicated at the time of the crash, and the surviving victim has asked for him not to be punished as harshly as the state would like, said Angelina County District Attorney Art Bauereiss.

Martin's blood alcohol was .07, which is below the legal intoxication threshold.

The court waited until Monday to issue a sentence because the judge was waiting to hear from the victims' father. Martin's defense attorney offered the plea bargain on Oct. 31.

He did have medication in his system, Martin's defense attorney said at the Oct. 31 plea hearing after calling Austin and looking at his blood-alcohol level they did not determine clearly if it affected his level of intoxication.

The mother of the surviving victim took the stand in support of Martin to say the three men in the car that night were friends, and she felt the 10-year probation was too long. She told the court that Daniel and the two other men in the car grew up together, and any one of them could have been driving on the day of the fatal accident.
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