SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s highest court says a drunken driver cannot be prosecuted for vehicular homicide after an appeals court tossed out a child abuse conviction for the death of a child [auth] passenger in another car.
The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Alicia Gonzales can’t be tried for vehicular homicide in a 2005 traffic crash in Albuquerque because of constitutional protections against double jeopardy.
The justices upheld a ruling by the state Court of Appeals, which blocked prosecutors from retrying Gonzales after overturning her child abuse convictions in the death of a 7-year-old boy and injury of his 5-year-old brother. The children were in a car Gonzales rear-ended on an interstate highway.
Prosecutors initially charged Gonzales with child abuse resulting in death, which carried a greater sentence than vehicular homicide.