San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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August 25th, 2008
Jury convicts Kyle man of intoxication manslaughter


A Kyle man awaits sentencing after being convicted last week of intoxication manslaughter in an accident that killed an Austin fire fighter.

Rolando Ramirez Jr, 26, could face up to 20 years in prison after being found guilty by a Hays County jury of the second-degree felony on Friday. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month by District Judge Bill Henry.

Driving a Honda Civic on Interstate 35 in Buda in March 2007, Ramirez ran off the road, over-corrected and crossed into the middle lane where he struck a motorcycle being driven by Guillermo “Benny” Balderama, also of Kyle, said Fred Weber, the first assistant district attorney. Ramirez’s attorney, Amber Bode-Vasquez, conceded her client was drunk but argued his intoxication did not cause the collision.

A jury deliberated three hours before handing down the sentence. The trial was attended by a number of Balderama’s co-workers and family members. He had been an Austin fire fighter for five years.

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