General Crime

* Jose Botello-Soto Pleaded No Contest To Vehicular Manslaughter In Healdsburg Of Crystal Carrillo-Martinez

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A Geyserville man who killed a Cloverdale woman when he drove the wrong way up a highway off-ramp near Healdsburg in October was sentenced to six years in prison this morning in Sonoma County Superior Court. Jose Botello-Soto, 26, pleaded no contest in November to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with the Oct. 30 crash near Healdsburg. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison.Judge Dean Beaupre started the sentencing hearing Tuesday but postponed it until this morning because he wanted more time to consider his decision.”This is one of the saddest things I’ve done in a long time and I know it’s devastating to you,” Beaupre said to the large crowd in the courtroom, which included the family of 26-year-old Crystal Carrillo-Martinez. Carrillo-Martinez was driving a 2008 Honda Civic south on U.S. Highway 101 on Oct. 30 when Botello-Soto drove his 1991 Explorer the wrong way up the highway’s Old Redwood Highway off-ramp.The resulting collision sent the Honda crashing into the center median. Carrillo-Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene.Sylvia Carrillo said her niece, a Catholic doctrine teacher, was had been on her way to a Halloween Party. She said the family wanted Beaupre to sentence Botello-Soto to the maximum 10-year term.”If by some magic I could sentence Mr. Botello-Soto to life in prison and bring back this young woman, I would do so in a New York minute,” Beaupre said, noting he too has lost a loved one to a car accident.Botello-Soto’s blood-alcohol level was 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal limit, Beaupre said, and his driving the wrong way on the off-ramp “was about as terrible of a mistake that you can make.”However, in explaining the six-year term, Beaupre pointed out that Botello-Soto has no criminal record and was a “hard-working, honest and dependable man who always took care of business.”Beaupre noted that Botello-Soto was sending money home to his family in Mexico and that he pleaded no contest shortly after the fatal crash and therefore “deserves some recognition for taking responsibility,” Beaupre said. Botello-Soto was in the country illegally, Deputy District Attorney Karina Kowler said.Felony charges of DUI, driving the wrong way causing death or injury and a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license were dismissed as part of Botello-Soto’s plea agreement.

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