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Man gets 50 years in prison for deaths of Rio Hondo sisters

James Edward Pearson

A 52-year-old man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the deaths of two sisters from Rio Hondo.

James Edward Pearson appeared for sentencing in the 357th State District Court on Thursday morning.

A Cameron County jury convicted Pearson during an intoxication manslaughter case back in December.

The 52-year-old man was convicted of being drunk and behind the wheel during a February 2009 accident off FM 345 near San Benito.

Rio Hondo High School student Yanely Mendoza, 16, was killed in the accident.

Her 20-year-old sister Yamily Mendoza died after she was taken off life support.

A mistrial has been declared in Pearson's first trial back in August after it was revealed that a juror knew him.

Pearson's second trial in December ended with a jury returning with a guilty verdict.

On Thursday, Pearson was sentenced to 50 years for each of the two sisters but the sentence was to be served concurrently.

Family and friends of the two sisters have created a facebook page asking for justice.

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