Posted: Jan 23, 2013 5:10 PM by Rachel Cole -- email@example.com
Updated: Jan 23, 2013 6:45 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty to intoxication assault for a hit and run crash last year.
Last April, Christian Cardenas hit a man on a motorcycle at the intersection of Crosstown and Tarlton.
Police arrested him after witnesses followed him as he tried to flee the scene of the accident. The motorcycle rider, Jeff Crotzer survived the accident.
Family members testified Wednesday morning for Cardenas during the punishment phase of the trial.
"He told me that it was a mistake that he made a mistake," a family member said.
Cardenas mother, Belinda Hernandez followed that testimony with her opinion of what the consequences should be for her son's actions.
"I think that Christian would be better off doing a strict probation, paying restitution," Belinda said.
Cardenas teared up as his family members testified on his behalf about the mistake he admitted to making and how hard that choice of drinking and driving has been on him.
"Having to live with the thought of hurting somebody your whole life, the thought of almost killing somebody your whole life," a family member said.
The family member went on to say that the accident wasn't intentional and that he didn't mean to hurt Jeff Crotzer, 52, and while Crotzer can't walk and is now forced to live with his parents so he can get 24 hour a day care, Cardena's family member says it could be worse.
"You should be thankful he's still alive, he's still with his family, he could be dead," she said.
Belinda says he's not a big drinker, however, prosecutors say his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit that night, leaving him facing up to 20 years in prison.
"20 years is too hard, just for my family, 20 years without seeing my brother, 20 years without being able to be with him," a family member said.
But with a shot at probation on the line his mother maintains that it was an accident and he just needs to be given another chance.
"I think he just needs to be given another opportunity because I know that he would never hurt anyone, he never would intentionally hurt anyone, he didn't mean to hurt Mr. Crotzer," Belinda said.
We were not able to talk to Mr. Crotzer because of the extent of his injuries he could only take part in this trial via Skype.
Judge Missy Medary will determine Cardenas' punishment.
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