An Ignacio mother who killed someone while driving drunk – a dangerous crime that prosecutors said the woman “did not care” about – was sentenced this week to 14 years in prison.
Twyla Casados, 34, was driving with her children in the vehicle when she crossed a center turn lane and ran into another vehicle in the Ignacio area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Durango. The other driver was killed in the crash.
The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2018. Casados was driving a white Chevrolet Suburban northbound on Colorado Highway 172 near the Thriftway gas station in Ignacio when she crossed the into the southbound lane, colliding with the driver’s side of a 1986 Nissan. The Suburban’s wheels rolled over the Nissan, killing the driver, who was not identified in court documents.
Casados had “several of her children” in the SUV at the time of the crash.
Two hours after the crash, Casados had a blood-alcohol level of 0.186 – more than twice the legal driving limit of 0.08, according to the plea agreement.
As part of the agreement, Casados specifically admitted that she was aware drunken driving posed a serious risk of death or serious bodily injury to herself or others, but “she did not care,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver.
Casados pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to second-degree murder in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She was facing 10 to 14 years in prison after signing the plea agreement.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn sentenced Casados to the maximum of 14 years in federal prison, followed by five years supervised release, as part of a plea agreement.
Casados has been convicted of drunken driving on three previous occasions, including once causing serious injuries, according to federal prosecutors. She has also been convicted for alcohol-related child abuse, the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote.
“Driving under the influence can be deadly,” U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn for the District of Colorado said in a release. “The defendant killed another person as a result of her drunk driving. She will have 14 years in federal prison to reflect on that fact.”