A man convicted of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed two people was sentenced from 10 to 30 years in prison Thursday.
New Mexico resident Antonio Romualdo-Macedo was charged with felony DUI charges for causing the deaths of two people and injury of another person on Tuesday, Aug. 28 on I-11. He took a plea deal in the case.
Authorities say 49-year-old Jennifer Rene Taylor-Beasinger of Henderson and 43-year-old Julius Milton Blankenship died in the crash when Romualdo-Macedo’s car left its lane and hit a stalled Honda Prelude that was parked on the side of the highway.
Romualdo-Macedo’s young child was in the backseat of his car during the crash. Romualdo-Macedo has a previous DUI in 2009, prosecutors said.
Family members of the victims including Taylor-Beasinger’s daughter appeared at the sentencing and asked the judge to give Romualdo-Macedo the maximum sentence saying, “My mother didn’t get a good deal.”
“She has such a wonderful heart. I beg you, your honor, please do not be lenient with this man,” said Diane Deyoung, Taylor-Beasinger’s mother.
“I’ve just been devastated since this happened,” said Brandy Taylor, Beasinger’s sister. “I just miss her. I miss my sister.”
The other victim, Blankenship’s daughter, was also in attendance at the sentencing hearing. Her hand shook while she was being sworn in.
“He’s right here. This is all I have left of my father, Candice Blankenship said as she showed pictures of her father.
At one point, Candice left the courtroom because she was so distraught. She could be heard from the hallway.
“I need to be with her; I’m sorry,” said Amanda Lambert Candice’s mother as she left the room to go and comfort her daughter.
The entire interaction had the judge fighting back tears.
“These are the hardest cases for me,” said Judge Jerry Wiese, Clark County District Court.
“I’ll never get pictures with my mom with my babies, or she’ll never get to know their names or hold them; none of that. That was all taken by a choice for something to drink and drive,” said Joseph Beasinger, Taylor-Beasinger’s son.
During all of the testimony, Romualdo-Macedo showed no emotion.
The minimum time Romualdo-Macedo has to serve in prison was two years lighter than what the prosecutor and the victims’ families wanted. But following a heart-wrenching day in court, loved ones say they will continue honoring the two people killed by a man, they believe, is not remorseful.
“He took our mom,” said Shana Bingham, Taylor-Beasinger’s daughter. “He couldn’t even look at us in the eyes and apologize.
The sentencing comes days before Taylor-Basinger’s birthday on April 20t. They brought her ashes to court.
But on the day she would have turned 50, her family is participating in a walk benefiting the Nevada Donors Network because some of their mother’s organs were donated.
The family says they’re also ready to work tirelessly to put a stop to DUIs.
“There’s got to be stricter laws,” Deyoung said.