Fresno Man Sentenced for Fatal DUI Crash

Some say that there is no bigger pain than losing your child. Sadly for Jose and Heidy Jimenez, they were robbed of the opportunity to even get to know their child.

Back on December 29, 2018, the Jimenezes were driving back from a dinner with Heidy’s parents. During the dinner, they had shared an ultrasound photo of their baby with her parents. Things changed when a man slammed into their car and caused serious damage.

Rafael Delgado, 27, was arrested at the scene for what was suspected to be drunken driving. His blood alcohol concentration would eventually be submitted as 0.16, twice the legal limit. Both Jose and Heidy were sent to the hospital to be treated. Jose had to be treated for major injuries to his leg and Heidy underwent cesarean section surgery to deliver her baby, Sophie Juliette. Unfortunately, Sophie passed on December 31, 2018.

The sentencing for Rafael Delgado took place on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020. Jose and Heidy gave tearful statements about their experience, evoking strong emotions about their loss. On the other side, there was a significant amount of support inside the courthouse for Delgado. Many of his family members showed up, and his mother made a statement to the judge pleading for mercy. They said that Delgado was a good man and had not been trouble with the law before.

Delgado himself issued an apology at the hearing, stating, “I am ashamed and angry for causing this horrible event that you will have to endure forever… I have failed my family, my community, your family, and myself.” He pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI with BAC of 0.8% or more causing injury.

Ultimately, Judge Idiart took into consideration Delgado’s age and the lack of criminal history and sentenced him to seven years and four months with an added restriction. The prosecution argued that Delgado didn’t deserve leniency for the destruction he caused and had pushed for a full eight-year prison term. Judge Idiart explained that “Although you are eligible for probation, because of the carnage you have created probation is denied… I can’t overlook your age and the good things you have done in life and the support you have. And that just shows how tragic this whole situation is.”

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