20-Yr-old DUI driver gets 18 years for fatal Chandler crash

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The following news release was sent by the County Attorney's Office:

CHANDLER - County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that Alonso Pena-Reyes, 20 (DOB 9/14/88), has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for causing the death of a Nemo Nicholas, a 35 year-old Chandler man, in a DUI related car crash. Pena-Reyes pled guilty to a second degree murder charge on September 30, 2008. The charge resulted from a fatal crash that occurred during the early morning hours of May 4, 2008, on the San Tan Freeway. Pena-Reyes, who is in the country illegally, was sentenced on November 5, 2008, in the courtroom of Commissioner Steven Holding.

According to a DPS probable cause statement, the defendant was driving the wrong way on the San Tan Freeway for several miles and failed to yield to a Phoenix Police officer. Pena-Reyes then struck another vehicle head on and killed the victim. The defendant was intoxicated and had a blood alcohol content of 0.244%. Pena-Reyes was held non-bondable following his arrest due to his immigration status.

Thomas stated, "This sentence will not begin to fill the victim's family's sense of loss, but it serves justice and will protect the community from a dangerous individual."

Deputy County Attorneys Thomas McDermott and Karin Hom prosecuted the case.