LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man was sentenced to six years in prison with the possibility of parole after two years for hitting and killing a teenager in front of his Henderson middle school while driving almost 100 mph.
There were nearly 200 people in the courthouse to support Rex Patchett, including his family and friends.
The family of the 13-year-old Patchett said they’re satisfied that Jose Marmolejo received the maximum sentence, but believe there should be tougher penalties for drivers.
“It’s an epidemic, Clark County is the reckless capital of the world, and we got to do something to stop it,” Jason Patchett, Rex’s father said after the sentencing.
The family told a judge how Marmolejo destroyed them when he decided to drive recklessly near a school.
“On March 7, 2022, I was sentenced to life. In the prison of all prisons. The prison of lifelong pain. The prison of lifelong grief. The prison of lifelong fear,” Jason Patchett said.
That statement from him was one of six given by the teen’s family in court on Wednesday.
Jose Marmolejo showed no emotion as Patchett’s family conveyed their pain.
“His body was brutally damaged that a visual confirmation was not even possible,” Michael Patchett, Rex’s grandfather said.
The 13-year-old was killed in front of Mannion Middle School in Henderson.
Patchett was leaving a friend’s house, going home for dinner, when he was struck by Marmolejo on the evening of March 7, 2022.
Marmolejo was 21 years old at the time of the incident and he walked into the courtroom without handcuffs and apologized to the Patchett family.
“I’d like to give my deepest sorrows to the Patchett family. I’m so very sorry to everybody,” Marmolejo said.
In the end, that wasn’t enough for him to avoid prison time.
“I’m not doing this for vengeance. I’m not doing this to send a message. What I’m doing this for is to try to do an equal, exact justice between the people of the state of Nevada and the defendant Mr. Marmolejo,” Judge Carli Kierny of Clark County District Court said.
Marmolejo was sentenced to six years in prison and must serve a minimum of two years to be eligible for parole.
The Patchett’s said they can move on following Marmolejo sentencing.
“This is obviously closure in this stage of the process. My wife and I are going to be grieving. Our children will grieve for the rest of our lives. We’ll take this pain with us forever,” Jason Patchett said.
Rex Patchett’s father says his focus will be to share his son’s story with the legislature in hopes that lawmakers can consider increasing the penalty for drivers who hit pedestrians.