ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A drunk driver who killed three people says he’s not a bad guy. Friday, he asked the judge to rethink his 16-year sentence and go easier on him.
Jacob Jaramillo has had a lot of alone time to think since the night he collided with three innocent people near the Big-I after he blew through a red light.
Jaramillo lived to tell about it, but afforded a trip away from his cell Friday to visit court, he made up his mind what he wanted to tell.
“I ask you to temper justice with mercy,” Jaramillo said.
“I still feel terrible, you know. I don’t know. I don’t know how to apologize. I do apologize for something I did. But I do ask, three lives were taken, why take another?” he told the judge.
Jaramillo never mentioned those three lives by name: Grace Sinfield, and brothers Robert Mendez and Sergio Mendez-Aguirre.
Jaramillo told the judge that he had a hard life growing up and while incarcerated is now trying to be a better person and community member.
“In prison, you don’t really learn that. There’s drugs, there’s alcohol, there’s violence, there’s gangs,” he said.
A cousin to Robert and Sergio spoke reminded Judge Brett Loveless of their view that Jaramillo should have gotten the max given his prior DWI.
“Twenty-seven years should have been it,” said Edgar Aguirre.
In the end, Judge Brett Loveless did not budge.
“I do think it’s an appropriate sentence,” he told the convicted drunk driver.
The chance that Jaramillo could have had even the slightest victory had Aguirre concerned.
“It was nerve wracking. You don’t know what to expect with the experience we’ve had unfortunately with the New Mexico court system,” said Edgar Aguirre.
Jaramillo and his insurance company are also facing a civil lawsuit filed by Jaramillo’s passenger that night. Adrian Montelongo is seeking money from Jaramillo and USAA Insurance Company.