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Bryan man sentenced to 45 years in prison for 2017 intoxicated manslaughter

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A Bryan man was sentenced to 45 years in prison last week after he was convicted for intoxicated manslaughter that stemmed from a two-vehicle accident in northern Brazos County in 2017 that left one man dead.

Ruben Martinez, 63, was convicted and sentenced by the 272nd District Court jury, according to the Brazos County Attorney's Office. The vehicle Martinez was driving was found to be a deadly weapon. He had prior convictions for driving while intoxicated; possession of a controlled substance; larceny; and delivery of a controlled substance, which resulted in a 10-year prison sentence. Martinez’s prior sentence resulted in an increased punishment range of 5-99 years in prison for this conviction, according to the Brazos County Attorney's Office.

On May 2, 2017, law enforcement officials responded to a 9-1-1 call that reported a crash on the Texas 6 frontage road. The caller said Martinez was “very drunk” and smelled like alcohol, according to the Brazos County Attorney's Office. First responders and medical officials who responded to the scene of the crash noticed signs of intoxication from Martinez. He admitted he drank earlier that night and also used cocaine and marijuana. Martinez’s blood alcohol content was over twice the legal limit.

A preliminary crash investigation indicated the accident occurred when a truck traveling south on the Texas 6 frontage road north of F.M. 2818 crossed the center line and drove into the path of another vehicle at around 1:38 a.m. The head-on collision killed the driver of the other vehicle involved, Steve Williford Jr., a 21-year-old man from Bryan. Williford was driving home that night to take his 5-year old daughter to school the next morning, according to the Brazos County Attorney's Office.

The “black box” from Martinez’s vehicle showed he was driving erratic and with speeds up to 75 mph moments before the crash, according to the Brazos County Attorney's Office.

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