A Las Vegas man was ordered to serve up to 44 years behind bars Friday for driving drunk and killing a husband and wife in the west valley.
Prosecutors said Henry Aparicio was speeding east on Sahara Avenue when his Mercedes-Benz C250 slammed into the back of a Toyota Prius stopped at Hualapai Way, killing 39-year-old Damaso Puente and 33-year-old Christa Puente, in May 2018.
In a courtroom packed with family and friends of the victims and Aparicio, Christa Puente’s father, Daniel Malone, told District Judge Cristina Silva that his “pain never ceases.”
He wept as he described receiving a phone call that his daughter and her husband had been killed. Malone looked up at Aparicio, standing a few feet away in shackles and a dark blue jail jumpsuit.
“You destroyed her body, but you couldn’t destroy her loving soul,” Malone said.
Authorities said Aparicio’s blood alcohol level was roughly four times the legal limit at the time of the crash, and he had been driving at more than twice the 45 mph speed limit. In handing down the sentence, the judge pointed to Aparicio’s “egregious choices” and decided that he would not be eligible for parole until he had served at least 15 years.
Aparicio’s attorney, Damian Sheets, said the defendant had “engaged on a path of alcoholism” and planned to help others when he is released from prison.
Aparicio, now 25, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of driving under the influence resulting in death and one count of reckless driving.
“I feel so much guilt,” Aparicio said Friday. “I’ve never felt so horrible about anything in my life.”
After he spoke, Christa Puente’s mother, Diane Malone, sobbed as she remembered her daughter’s tenderness as an oncology nurse and her unceasing smile.
“She was always the most kind-hearted, sensitive person I have ever known,” Malone said. “She radiated love and compassion.”
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