Archive for January 31st, 2014

Belen, New Mexico

Belen, New Mexico

An un-American fact about America today is that for some groups, much more than others, upward mobility and the American dream are alive and well. It may be taboo to say it, but certain ethnic, religious and national-origin groups are doing strikingly better than Americans overall.

Which brings me to Belen, New Mexico (30 miles south of Albuquerque) and Jacob Williams.

Mr. Williams is a 27 year old who back in 2008 went to prison for killing a motorcyclist and crippling the motorcycles passenger while driving drunk.  Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of vehicular homicide, great bodily harm by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Jacob Williams Arraignment - Pleads Not Guilty

Jacob Williams Arraignment – Pleads Not Guilty

District Court Judge William Sanchez, presided over the case and sentenced Williams to the maximum six years in prison allowed under the plea agreement.  He was released from prison in 2012.

Jump ahead to last Saturday where a witness told KOB-TV that she called 911 twice to report seeing Williams driving erratically around her neighborhood.  She then called again three hours later to report seeing him getting into a fight with a neighbor.  More details HERE, HERE and HERE.

However, deputies failed to quickly respond before the pickup that Williams was driving veered over a center line, killing Daniel Sanchez, 51, and seriously injuring his 11-year-old daughter, Magen who were riding on a motorcycle.  In an  unbelievable ironic twist, it turns out that Daniel Sanchez is the brother of the District Court Judge William Sanchez who sentenced Williams back in 2008.  Breath tests found Mr. Williams’ blood-alcohol level at 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit of 0.08.

The death of the judge’s brother appeared to be coincidental and a Valencia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman made a statement about the failure to quickly respond by saying that only five deputies were working that day, and they were tied up with other felony crimes and another fatal crash.  No one should have to bear the burdens caused by someone else’s negligence on the road!

How did we get to this place?  Where taking a life is worth 0-6 years?  Really?!

It would seem that for years New Mexico has had a willful blindness to the facts as one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the nation.

Maybe it’s time for all motorcyclists to boycott New Mexico?  Along with boycotting the popular rally’s (i.e. Red River Run), which draws tens of thousands of motorcyclists to Red River and nearby Angel Fire and pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into the area economy.

And with Super Bowl taking place this Sunday and having developed a reputation as one of the more dangerous days of the year for drunk driving… please be careful out there.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps and KOAT.

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