ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The drunk driver who sped through a red light and killed three young people was sentenced to 16 years behind bars, but Friday he’ll explain to a judge why he shouldn’t have to serve all that time.
The deadly crash happened a year and a half ago on the frontage road near the Big-I.
Police said Jacob Jaramillo was drunk when he ran a red light and crashed into 20-year-old Grace Sinfield and brothers, 23-year-old Sergio Mendez-Aguirre and 27-year old Roberto Mendez.
Jaramillo pleaded guilty and in October he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. At his sentencing, District Court Judge Brett Loveless had a strong message for everyone in his courtroom.
“I hope sincerely that this case just highlights for the public at large, how incredibly dangerous this behavior is,” he said.
Recently, Jaramillo’s public defender filed a motion asking for a reduced sentence. Robert and Sergio’s cousin, Edgar Leal Aguirre, said he’s upset but not surprised.
“We’re pretty bothered by it. It’s been a life change for my aunt and uncle,” he said. “[Jaramillo’s] not looking for accountability. My aunt and uncle are never going to be the same and this kid doesn’t seem to understand the magnitude of his actions.”
Leal Aguirre said the family already feels that Jaramillo got a “great deal” when he pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular homicide last August.
“That’s a matter-of-fact,” Leal Aguirre said. “He was convicted of his first DWI, from back in October 2014, the same day he was sentenced for killing my cousins and Grace. We’re shocked by the fact that they’re still trying to get him out but evidently he knows the system.”
In the motion, Jaramillo states he’s been taking advantage of all rehabilitative and educational opportunities behind bars. But because the crime was deemed a serious violent offense, he argues he’s “prohibited from taking certain classes” due to “internal Department of Corrections policies.”
So, Jaramillo and his family want one more chance to change the judge’s mind. It’s a move Leal Aguirre hopes the judge sees through.
“His advocates and family members who try to persuade Judge Loveless to a lower sentence indicate how much of a travesty this is for him, that he’s not a bad person, but his actions speak differently,” Leal Aguirre said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Jaramillo’s public defender to see how much time they want reduced from the sentence and what classes Jaramillo is prohibited from taking while in prison. We did not hear back.
The hearing is set for Friday in front of Judge Loveless.