A Peñasco man employed as a technician at Los Alamos National Labs pleaded guilty Tuesday (July 23) to homicide by vehicle and great bodily harm by vehicle, charges that were filed after he …
A Peñasco man employed as a technician at Los Alamos National Labs pleaded guilty Tuesday (July 23) to homicide by vehicle and great bodily harm by vehicle, charges that were filed after he crashed into another vehicle while under the influence in 2017, killing his best friend.
Anthony Sanchez was charged with three other counts when the case was filed that were dropped as part of Tuesday's agreement.
The case alleges that Sanchez and his childhood best friend, Patrick Medina Jr., had both been drinking when they were driving home from the labs, where they both worked, on Aug. 11, 2017. According to a criminal complaint, Sanchez crossed into the other lane and crashed into a vehicle driven by Brandi Mascarenas. The woman suffered severe back and neck injuries in the crash. Medina was pronounced dead on the scene by members of the Office of the Medical Investigator.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, Sanchez will be placed under house arrest for three years. Following that, he will be on supervised probation for five years. He will also be required to perform 120 hours of community service “related to reducing the incidence of DWI” and will have an interlock device installed in his vehicle for one year. The device will measure his blood alcohol levels, preventing the vehicle from starting if he is under the influence.
Taos District Court Judge Emilio Chavez expressed concern over the sentence imposed by the agreement in light of the severity of the charges. But both the state, represented by prosecutor Marcus Montoya, and Sanchez’s defense attorney, Dan Marlow, explained that the circumstances of the crash and the defendant’s response after it took place were both extraordinary.
At a previous hearing, the mother of the deceased told the court that Sanchez had expressed remorse immediately after the crash occurred and continued to show support to his friend's family.
“She misses her son dearly, but Ms. Medina did say that Mr. Sanchez has been in constant communication with her, has been remorseful from the beginning and still is today and has effectively committed to a better life in memory of his lost friend,” Montoya said.
Montoya said that Mascarenas was also “entirely on board” with the agreement reached on Tuesday.
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