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Tinoco found not guilty of murder after driving into crowd, killing a woman

By: Stacey Welsh

EL PASO, Texas -- A jury finds Miguel Tinoco not guilty of murder after he drove through a crowd of people and killed 23-year-old Miriam Aguirre. The crime happened after a Lower Valley House party in July 2012. Tinoco has been in jail for nearly two years.

Tinoco could still face additional jail time because he was found guilty of four counts of aggravated assault. Defense attorney Tom Hughes said Tinoco could face up to 20 years in prison for those convictions. Hughes said the minimum sentence could be two years in prison.

"I think the problem in this case was that it was not a murder case," Hughes said.

The prosecution declined to comment on this case because the trial is still proceeding to the punishment phase.

As KFOX14 previously reported, the prosecution in this case said after Tinoco was kicked out of a friend's birthday party, he urinated on a neighbor's property and that neighbor punched Tinoco in the face.

The prosecution claims this made Tinoco angry, and he could have intentionally driven into the crowd.

Tinoco is also charged with criminal negligent homicide, but the jury did not reach a verdict on that charge. However, the defense does not expect the case to go back to trial.

"It would be a waste of resources for the district attorney's office to retry that case because of the punishment. He will have served two years by July of this year," Hughes said.

The punishment phase of this trial is set to start 8 a.m. Monday.