BUDA, Texas (KXAN) – A Buda man is now charged with murder months after he was involved in a car crash that killed a woman.
According to court documents, Rogelio Garduno, 36, is being charged with murder and intoxication manslaughter. According to court documents, on Dec. 7, 2016, Garduno was driving on Farm to Market 2001 just before 10 p.m. when he drove onto the wrong side of the road and hit another car driven by Frances Campbell.
Campbell was transported to St. David South Austin Hospital where she died soon after.
At the scene, police say Garduno smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and admitted to drinking six Bud Light beers in two hours. Garduno was transported to the hospital after complaining of injuries to his upper body, and did not perform a standard field sobriety test.
Court documents state Garduno has two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated, one in 2004 and one in 2006. He also has one conviction of driving while intoxicated in 2008.
While a DWI is normally a misdemeanor, if someone has been convicted at least twice for misdemeanor DWI, each following DWI arrest is considered a felony. So, killing someone in a drunk driving crash opens the possibility of a murder charge and more time in prison.
Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau says he is not taking the crime lightly.
“That’s a person who has been through the system a couple of times, has undoubtedly been told about the dangers of drinking and driving and has probably been through programs about how people are harmed by this,” said Mau. “Besides a DWI, he’s committing a felony and under our murder statute if a person is committing a felony and does an act clearly dangerous to human life, that’s a murder if it actually causes the death of another individual.”
An indictment for the murder charge was filed last month, Garduno was re-arrested on Wednesday and remains in the Hays County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
The charges were filed just days before a jury found another Buda man guilty of murder after a DWI crash in 2014. Mau says the Jason Tarr trial shows a lot about Hays County. “The jury in the Jason Tarr case pretty much told us that this is an appropriate way for our community to deal with these types of cases,” he said.
Going forward, Mau says this will be the standard and hopes the charges serve as a lesson for those getting behind the wheel.
“We are confident going forward we are going to continue to give the Hays County juries the justice that they demand,” said Mau. “I think that these kind of results in court do become known to the people that are potentially thinking about drinking and driving.”