A Galveston County jury on Thursday found a man who killed a woman in a 2019 crash on FM 2004 in Hitchcock guilty of intoxication manslaughter.
Raul Soto, 33, of Baytown, was sentenced Friday to up to 15 years in prison, according to court records.
Soto was accused of killing Joanna Rackley, a Brazoria County woman, in a crash in FM 2004 in July 2019.
Witnesses told police that Soto was driving a Volkswagen that swerved off the road in west Galveston County, over-corrected, then crossed into oncoming traffic. The Volkswagen hit a Jeep head-on, killing Rackley, who was in the front passenger set.
Rackley’s husband and grandchildren were injured the crash as well, police said.
Police took a blood sample from Soto after the crash. The test determined that Soto has a blood-alcohol content of .192, according to a criminal complaint.
In Texas, people are considered under the influence of alcohol if their blood-alcohol level is 0.08 or higher.
Mark Diaz, Soto’s defense attorney, attempted to challenge the chain of custody of the blood sample, which he said was taken at a hospital and not at the scene of the crash.
Soto apologized to Rackley’s family during the victim impact statement portion of the trial, Diaz said.
Soto was taken into custody following the return of the guilty verdict. He was being held at the Galveston County Jail on Friday afternoon. He will eventually be transferred to a state prison.
John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @johnwferguson.