By Tony Parra
Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Parker handed down a 14-year sentence on Wednesday to a Roswell man who was convicted of homicide by a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident involving death and tampering with evidence.
Brian Moshier, 41, of Roswell was convicted in the death of 2-week old Angel Martinez in a vehicle crash that occurred Aug. 5 on U.S. Highway 70, between Portales and Elida, according to police reports.
“Angel’s mother had some eloquent things to say in court,” 9th Judicial District Senior Trial Prosecutor Donna Mowrer said. “She said she hopes the man (Moshier) will ultimately be blessed. There can be no real justice for losing a loved one. She said nothing anybody can say will bring her son back.”
Moshier was given the maximum sentence of six years of incarceration on the homicide by vehicle. Moshier had four prior DWI (driving while intoxicated) convictions within a 10-year period and was given an additional eight years. District Attorney Brett Carter said Moshier received two years for each prior DWI conviction.
“It was what we were hoping for,” Carter said. “It sends a message. If you get a prior DWI, it’s a stiffer sentence. The penalties changed about five or six years ago. When I first started in 1987 his sentence would have only been three years.”
Under current laws, Moshier could have been sentenced to a maximum of 22 years. There are now stiffer penalties in effect, after the passage of New Mexico Senate Bill 144, Carter said. One of the provisions of the bill calls for a four-year addition for each prior DWI conviction.
Once Moshier is released, he will also have to serve 4 1/2 years of probation. Gary Mitchell, Moshier’s attorney, did not return a call made to his office.
Police said Moshier drove a tractor trailer rig into the back of a compact car around 3 a.m. on Aug. 5. The collision forced the car to spin, ejecting Martinez out of the car. The parents survived the accident and said Moshier smelled of alcohol at the scene of the crime.
Mowrer said the parents told her their infant son was born in Amarillo two weeks before the accident. The parents, who are from Chihuahua, Mexico, were visiting relatives in Amarillo when their son was born. According to Mowrer, the parents were driving back to Mexico when the accident happened.