LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 20-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 12 to 40 years in state prison for driving under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana in a crash that killed a 6-year-old girl and her grandmother at a Las Vegas bus stop 11 months ago.
Leonardo Ruesga apologized before Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti sentenced him for the crash and deaths of 58-year-old Maria Garcia and her granddaughter, Alyssa Aisa.
“I just apologize with all my heart,” he said. “I don’t know how to forgive myself or cope with this.”
About a dozen grieving family members wore T-shirts to court remembering the two killed when a 2005 Volvo S60 hit them near a busy intersection last March 30.
“Our mother taught us that every decision comes with consequences,” Edna Cordero said. “Your stupid mistake cost us our mother.”
Cordero noted that Ruesga ran away after the crash, in which an 18-month-old girl in a stroller also was hit but escaped serious injury.
Police said a witness followed Ruesga’s fleeing car to an apartment complex, where Ruesga and a passenger were found hiding.
Ruesga pleaded guilty Dec. 29 to two counts of DUI causing death, and a charge alleging that he fled the scene was dropped. He could have faced 22 to 55 years in prison.
Defense attorney Warren Geller called the case a tragedy and said Ruesga was genuinely remorseful. Geller noted that Ruesga’s mother and other family members attended his sentencing to support him.
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