Jury finds 24-year-old Harlingen woman guilty of intoxication manslaughter
Editor's note: This story has been updated.
A Cameron County jury on Friday found a 24-year-old Harlingen woman guilty of intoxication manslaughter nearly a year after she was accused of killing a motorcyclist in Harlingen.
Taylor Nicole Ramirez, 24, was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter with a motor vehicle, a second-degree felony. She was sentenced to five years in jail.
Ramirez is accused of striking David Salinas, 29, of Harlingen with her vehicle on Aug. 30, 2016. Salinas later died at the hospital.
Ramirez took the stand on Friday and addressed the family of Salinas, saying she accepted responsibility and apologized for her actions on that night.
When asked about her smiling mugshot, Ramirez said she didn't remember what was going on in her mind during that time, but testified that her reaction to stress and fear is to laugh and smile.
Ramirez's father stated his daughter currently lives in a sober home in Austin, and has been diagnosed with alcoholism.
Ramirez was originally charged with intoxication assault with a vehicle, a third-degree felony, and possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Charges were upgraded to intoxication manslaughter in Oct. 2016.
Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said in a statement:
“While we commend the jury for doing the right thing in finding Taylor Nicole Ramirez GUILTY as charged, we are extremely disappointed with their sentence of five years. I believe it send the wrong message to the public that juries in Cameron County are NOT serious about fatalities caused by drunk drivers.”