Man found guilty in officer's death sentenced to six months
Updated: Friday, October 25 2013, 09:43 AM MDT
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas – A man found guilty in the death of El Paso police officer Karl McDonough was sentenced to six months in prison for the drunken driving charge.
As KFOX14 previously reported Thursday, the jury convicted Alejandro Fierro of manslaughter, aggravated assault and driving while intoxicated.
A jury determined Friday that he would have to pay a $10,000 fine for the manslaughter and assault charge as well as a $2,000 fine for the drunken driving charge.
"He'll be required to report. I imagine he's going to participate in a drug court program. He's going to be given 800 hours of community service,” said Josh Herrera, defense attorney.
As for the assault and manslaughter charges, he received suspended sentences of three and seven years respectively, that he will incur if he violates his probation after the six-month drunken driving sentence.
"If he violates his terms of probation and the judge can bring him back into the courtroom as she sees fit, she can give him the full sentence," Herrera said.
Friday marked the start of the trial's sentencing phase, and testimony from Fierro's and McDonough's families received the most emotional response.
McDonough's parents, Paul and Nancy, both cried on the stand as they described how their son had a "bubbly" personality and leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Fierro's father, Justo Alejandro Fierro, also choked back tears on the stand as he told the jury his son is a "good boy" and a role model for his younger son.
The defense also called Fierro's former career adviser from Montwood High School, Patricia Arellano, to the stand. She described Fierro as responsible and a "go-getter."
The defense argues the jury should grant Fierro probation because he could continue to be a student and work at a part-time job.
Herrera called the accident "a perfect storm" and said the only thing the jury can do now is affect Fierro's future.
"Plus or minus one second, the cars could have missed each other. Plus or minus 1 mile, they could have missed each other as well," Herrera said during closing arguments.
The prosecution reminded the jury of McDonough's death.
"The main issue is if Mr. Fierro would have made the right decision to not drink and drive. It is a crime and it has to be punished," Assistant District Attorney Ray Duke said.
The jury can only consider probation as a possibility for Fierro if it sentences him to less than 10 years in prison.