Just before a man was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he apologized to the family of the woman he killed and called her “careless.”
According to the Dallas News, 31-year-old John Adrian Esparza was speeding in March 2017 when he hit a former Texas A&M student crossing the street.
The incident happened after 2:00 am on March 18, 2017. The victim was thrown onto the hood of his black Honda Accord and into the vehicle’s windshield.
She was discovered about 147 feet from where the initial impact took place.
Esparza, who was determined to have been traveling 55 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour speed zone, failed to stop and check on the student after doing the accident.
The victim, 23-year-old Rachel Lynn Spelman, died as a result of the accident.
Now, according to his statement in court, Esparza is claiming that Spelman, who his attorney says was “intoxicated” when the incident took place, carries as much responsibility for her death as he does.
As the Dallas News reports, before being sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to failure to stop and render aid and ten years for manslaughter, Esparza told the judge that he believed he should only be given probation for his actions.
He said that he isn’t “wholly responsible for Spelman’s death because she walked into the street.”
Esparza said, after apologizing to Spelman’s family:
“I’m sorry she had to be so careless.”
The family in attendance reportedly “gasped” when Esparza continued to blame the victim. He also reportedly said:
“We are both at fault. I promise you if she would’ve used that crosswalk.”
And when the prosecutor showed Esparza a photo of Spelman lying on the street, he still attempted to defend himself. According to the Dallas News:
“I want you to see what you did. That’s who you left in the street,” she said.
“I understand that but you gotta understand …” Esparza started to respond.
“I’m doing the questions here, not you,” Thomas interrupted.
Esparza later tried to explain that he “didn’t even clean up the glass in the car” and wasn’t trying to hide what happened.
“The blood was still on it,” he said.
Authorities also believe that it was “unlikely” Spelman saw Esparza’s car coming because of how fast he was driving, saying she was almost across the street by the time she got hit.
Esparza also reportedly has a criminal record, one that includes being “arrested for drunken driving, driving without a driver’s license and reckless driving.”
According to the judge presiding over the case, State District Judge Carter Thompson, Esparza only recently had his license reinstated before hitting and killing Spelman.
The judge further claimed that unlike Esparza, who was reportedly drinking earlier in the day he hit Spelman, she was doing the responsible thing by walking home.
Spelman’s family has since created a scholarship in honor of their beloved daughter.