6-year prison term in Highway 101 death of Windsor man
Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
The family of a Windsor man who died after falling from the back of a pickup truck on Highway 101 said Wednesday they hoped the driver will come to understand their pain during her 6-year prison sentence.
Rubi Ann Martinez, 33, of Santa Rosa, pleaded no contest to a single count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the Dec. 22 death of Enrique Ramirez Alvarez, 21, whose body was found in the center lane near the Mendocino Avenue onramp.
CHP investigators said Martinez knew Alvarez had fallen from the open bed of her truck but did not to return and assist or call authorities and “made efforts to conceal the incident.”
An autopsy revealed Ramirez may have been struck by another car and died of a broken neck.
“If there's any justice in this world, she must understand and pay for what she did,” Ramirez's mother, Martina Alvarez, told Superior Court Judge Virginia Marcoida.
Prosecutor Troye Shaffer said Martinez appeared to lack insight about the severity of the incident. Ramirez had just become a father before he was killed, she said.
“I understand she, too, is a mother so I can't imagine what has been said here in court has fallen on deaf ears,” Shaffer said.
Martinez, who has a long criminal history involving gangs, declined to make a statement. She looked down as three other Ramirez family members spoke.
Outside court, Martinez's 17-year-old daughter, Maria Arriaga, said her mother was bearing an unfair portion of blame. She said four or five others in the truck also did nothing to help Ramirez, who she accused of being intoxicated along with everyone else.
“She shouldn't be the only one blamed,” said the daughter as two of her three younger siblings stood nearby. “They all had cell phones.”
Neither prosecutors nor the CHP responded immediately to requests for confirmation that Ramirez had been drinking.
Marcoida said the prison sentence was the middle term prescribed by law. She said Ramirez fell from the truck when Martinez swerved or hit a curb while driving under the influence.
She told Martinez that the punishment amounts to a life sentence “because I know you will never forget it.”
Marcoida agreed to release Martinez's 1996 GMC truck to a family member.
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