Racing Trial Ends - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/14/08 - Nacogdoches

Racing Trial Ends

by Donna McCollum

Intoxicated manslaughter isn't taken lightly in Nacogdoches County if Wednesday's verdict is any measurement.  A jury has sentenced 21 year old Antonio Martinez to seven sentences.  He will be 46 years old before he's eligible for parole. 

Martinez received three, five and five years on three racing charges.  On the escape charge he was sentenced to eight years.  And, on the three intoxicated manslaughter counts he was given ten, twenty and twenty years. However, Judge Ed Klein stacked some of those sentences. District Attorney Stephanie Stephens explained,    " The judge cumulated or stacked the sentences in the intoxicated manslaughter cases, so in essence his 10,20,20 sentences became a 50 year sentence. He'll have to serve half before he becomes eligible for parole. "  

Family members reacted to the decisions immediately after the trial. Carolyn Thompson, mother of 22 year old Ken Thompson, one of three victims in the crash said,    " While this doesn't bring my son back, I truly feel justice has been served." Mike Riehl, father of 26 year old Kenneth Riehl, said,    " I'm just satisfied and I have no objection. I think they sent a message to the people around here and they don't want to tolerate this type of behavior and I'm very happy with that. "

Also killed in the accident was Martinez' 18 year old cousin, Jose Tamez Jr. His family wasn't in the courtroom. Martinez' parents were in the trial from the beginning, but was absent on the day of the sentencing. His ex-girlfriend and the father of their 2 year old child left the courtroom in tears.

Family members of Thompson and Riehl say they'll be back in April for the trial of Shaun Gilmore. He's the man Martinez was racing. The victim's families chose not to read their impact statements in court, but copies will be sent to the state. You can read those statements found under the KnowMore section of our web site, ktre.com.

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