Accused Drunk Driver Indicted For Manslaughter In Fatal Crash

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TEXARKANA, Texas–A Bowie County grand jury has issued indictments for intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault in connection with a September crash in Texarkana that killed a woman and injured a 7-year-old boy.

Christopher Telles, 42, of Grandbury, Ark., allegedly spoke with slurred speech and admitted to drinking a few beers following a wreck Sept. 2 that took the life of Marolin Gardner, according to a probable cause affidavit. Gardner was slumped over the wheel of a 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan and a 7-year-old boy traveling with her appeared to be in “significant pain” when Texarkana Texas Police Department Officers arrived at the scene at around 10 p.m.

Telles faces two to 20 years if convicted of intoxication manslaughter and two to 10 years if convicted of intoxication assault. He is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bails totaling $1.25 million.

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The boy was transported via ambulance to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken leg that could require surgery, the affidavit said. Gardner was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Tiguan and a 2015 Dodge Ram pickup were both in the southbound lane of State Line, with the Tiguan facing south and the Ram facing north, according to the affidavit.

Telles allegedly replied, “Ain’t no doubt about it,” when asked if he’d been drinking before the crash and reportedly exclaimed, “Just call my lawyer, I can’t do that,” when asked to perform a “walk and turn” field sobriety test by officers.

Telles allegedly refused when asked if he would allow staff at a local hospital to draw a sample from him for blood alcohol testing and resisted when presented with a warrant, the affidavit said.

The case has been assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.

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