Emotions Run High In Intoxicated Assault - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/15/08 - Nacogdoches

Emotions Run High In Intoxicated Assault

by Donna McCollum

Shannon Curtis, one of four people injured seriously, sobs in her husband's arms after leaving the witness stand. Each account of the July 22, 2006 head on collision leaves them physically and mentally drained.   Shannon spoke of being called a "monster instead of mommy." Her youngest daughter was scared of the accident injuries. The couple is also coming to terms with forgiveness. Almost a year after the accident, Matt Vaglica received an e-mail of forgiveness from Shannon.  On Tuesday she testified, "I hate him."

Then there are the more tangible affects. The Curtis' horrific injuries led to a quarter of a million dollars worth of medical bills. They owe about $100,000, as the hospital waived its portion for the uninsured couple.   Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital financial director Mindy Lanford explained, " The medical debt has to be a certain percentage over what their annual income is and it's considered a medical hardship. "  The Curtis' received weeks of care, surgeries and rehabilitation at the hospital.

Tears flowed too from Vaglica's family. A father commented about a, "one sided courtroom," when he couldn't fully express the changes he's seen in his 23 year old son since the accident. An older brother said he, "loves his brother like a son", but admitted to exposing him to alcohol twice, knowing full well it was a violation of a probation for a previous alcohol related offense. Still, the defense does its job by fighting for another probation.

Matt Vaglica could receive 2-10 years in prison on each count of intoxicated assault and the sentences can be stacked. He can also receive probation. 

Probation officer Angel Eason said, " If they're going to put a person on probation there are certain things the state says that they have to do. Like they have do jail time, like they have to have interlocks. "

The case went to the jury Wednesday afternoon. The jury deliberated past 10 o'clock Wednesday night. They will resume Thursday morning.

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