Man gets 20 years prison while victim's family serves "life sentence"

A man is headed to prison for the next 20 years in the death of a San Benito CISD bus driver Juan Luis Espinoza.

Felipe Sanchez appeared for sentencing before Judge Benjamin Euresti in the 107th State District Court on Tuesday morning.

He was sentenced to 20 years for intoxication manslaughter and two years for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

However, Judge Euresti said in open court that state law dictates that the sentences cannot be consecutive.

Instead, the sentences have to be served concurrently; meaning they have to be served together and not one after the other.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to hitting and killing Espinoza in a DWI wreck near Leal Elementary School just outside San Benito back in February.

After 10 months time, the Espinoza family can finally close this tragic chapter in their lives.

"Our lives have forever changed and they will forever change, we are not the same, he has killed us in life, said Oralia Elorza, sister of Juan Luis Espinoza.

Prosecutor Peter Gilman said he was pleased with the sentencing, which is exactly what he fought for.

Felipe Sanchez got 20 years which is the max number an individual can get for intoxication manslaughter," Gilman said. "It was well deserved in this case."

Espinoza TMs mom forgave Sanchez and hopes he spends the next 20 years in prison changing his ways.

To ask God for forgiveness, to turn himself to him because he didn't only hurt me but his family, Espinoza says.

Anna Verley with Mothers Against Drunk Driving was with the Espinoza family since the trial started.

Verley said parents should learn from this case and educate their children- both young and adult -about the dangers of drinking and driving.