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DUI Driver Who Killed Teen Gets Sentenced

Flickr User: Joe Gratz

A DUI driver who killed a teenage female in 2008 received his sentence last week.

Manuel Contreras-Galdean, 33, pleaded guilty last year to one count each of manslaughter and aggravated assault for the Nov. 15, 2008, collision that killed 16-year-old Kelly Tracy of Mesa and injured her brother Matthew Tracy, then 17, as he was driving them to Highland High in Gilbert.

Contreras-Galdean has been sentenced to 14 years in prison with credit for time served, and four years of probation – the maximum sentence allowed under terms of his plea agreement.

Mesa police said on the day of the accident, Contreras-Galdean was driving with a blood-alcohol content above 0.19 percent. That’s two-and-a-half times the legal limit; additionally, he had been on cocaine.

Contreras-Galdean was allowed to speak to the judge last Friday, the day of his hearing. He asked for leniency and rehashed the events that day as he recalled them.

“I was hoping today to remove this burden – this burden I’m carrying knowing I’m not the criminal the prosecution made me out to be,” he said through an interpreter.

The aggravating factor the court found reprehensible was the fact that Contreras-Galdean had a DUI in 2001 (in Utah) and a DUI in 2007 (in Tempe).

Judge Trujillo gave Contreras-Galdean 496 days of credit for time in jail already served. He acknowledged that the probation may not be served because Contreras-Galdean, a Mexican immigrant whom prosecutors said has lived illegally in this country for several years, is faced with deportation.

Kelly is survived by her parents and siblings Matthew, Michael, Jason, Kaitlin and Jessica.

Remember guys, drinking and driving is no joke and neither are the penalties for getting charged. You can hurt yourself, your loved ones and the loved ones of people you don’t even know.

Please be safe and before you get behind the wheel, think about others and not just yourself.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.