An 18-year-old DeKalb, Texas, man is in jail on charges of intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault.
Isidrio Mariano, Jr., was driving a red 2012 Honda Civic when he slammed into a tree Jan. 10 at about 3:45 a.m. The car’s owner and front seat passenger, Candace Vernon, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt. Three other passengers, only one of whom was wearing a seat belt, were taken to area hospitals and treated for injuries.
Mariano was transported to a local hospital as well. His blood was drawn and testing by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab allegedly determined his blood alcohol level was .086. Drivers are deemed intoxicated at .08. Mariano’s blood also contained anti-anxiety medication, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Passengers in the car told DPS Trooper Paul Barrett the group had been driving around drinking and that someone was chasing them when the crash occurred. The passenger allegedly told Barrett that Mariana was doing 80 to 85 miles per hour when he failed to stop at the intersection of Bowie County Road 4255 and U.S. Highway 259.
Mariano appeared without a lawyer Monday at a pre-indictment hearing Monday before 5th District Judge Bill Miller. Mariano told the judge he has hired Texarkana lawyer Lawrence Orta to represent him. However, the court’s docket showed Mariano would be standing with a member of the Bowie County Public Defender’s Office. Orta’s absence from the proceeding could be explained by a lack of notice about the hearing.
Miller told Mariano and a group of his family who sat in the audience to ask Orta to file an appearance notice in the case. Miller scheduled Mariano to return to court July 11 for his next pre-indictment hearing.
Intoxicated manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Intoxicated assault is punishable by two to ten.