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Earlier: A Travis County jury has begun deliberations in the trial of Nicholas Colunga, who was drunk when he barreled a Chevy Impala into a crowd of pedestrians in downtown Austin, severely injuring former University of Texas soccer player Kylie Doniak.
Following after Vazquez Bode, Assistant District Attorney Amy Meredith said the charges were not political.
The case will move into the sentencing phase Thursday afternoon after a short recess.
Over two days of testimony, witnesses have testified Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Orange Bezel
that Colunga had been out drinking heavily the night of the wreck and ran a red light, striking Doniak and two of her friends at East Eighth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. Sisto Perez told jurors he had been on his motorcycle when he saw the crash and chased after Colunga, yelling at him and later hogtying him with a leather belt from a woman who was nearby.
Colunga convicted of three felony offenses in trial
he said, pointing to the rules of the charge, which stipulate voluntary intoxication does not constitute as a defense for Colunga.
In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors said Colunga had been driving recklessly that night and intentionally fled the scene of the wreck, only stopping because he eventually crashed. Assistant District Attorney Matt Campbell said Colunga had not been too drunk to know how to find his car, how to start it and in which direction to drive on East Eighth, which is a one way street going west.
update: Nicholas Colunga has been found guilty on two counts of failure to stop and render aid and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a drunk driving crash that severely injured a former University of Texas soccer player.
on Tuesday to intoxication assault for the February 2012 incident. He is on trial on two counts of failure to stop and render aid and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
"When someone commits a criminal offense, you do not get to pick and choose," she said. "If you act the way Nicholas Colunga acted on Feb. 3, 2012, all of those charges qualify. It's not just a one crime fits all."
"Nick is not a wealthy white girl. He is not an elected official," Vazquez Bode said over the judge, sustaining an objection from prosecutors. "There are points to be made, and this is not about justice for these poor people."
Jurors deliberated for more than three hours before returning their decision.
Colunga, 23, pleaded guilty Omega Seamaster Golf Edition
Colunga, 23, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to intoxication assault, is facing between two and 20 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge and between two and 10 years for each of the other three offenses. He is eligible for probation, defense attorneys said.
Doniak, now 23, was left in a coma for weeks and continues to progress through a long and difficult rehabilitation process. Her friend, former UT track member Andre Thomas, sustained serious wounds to his leg.
After another objection, she turned to jurors, saying, "I think everybody out in the community can read between the lines on this."
"What he ignored was the risk of hitting and hurting someone," Omega Constellation Ladies
"Can you imagine if all Omega Watch Diamond a defendant had to do to commit a crime was to get drunk first to avoid culpability?" Campbell asked. "That would be an all you can eat buffet for criminality."
In an impassioned closing argument, Colunga's lawyer, Amber Vazquez Bode, said Colunga had walked into the courtroom, waiving a white flag and accepting responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to intoxication assault. She ensued angry objections from prosecutors multiple times, as she said the state was piling on the other offenses as a political move and to save face from recent embarrassments within the district attorney's office.
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