Intoxication Manslaughter Guilty Plea

A teacher faces up to 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty in a case of intoxication manslaughter that left a San Antonio woman dead.

Thirty-four-year-old Jose Castaneda was a math teacher at O'Connor High School in 2008 when his SUV slammed into another vehicle on IH 10, killing 29-year-old Tamara Simpson.

He was accused of fleeing the scene, but Castaneda's attorney, Nico LaHood told 550 KTSA News there was conflicting testimony.

"Police officers found him within half-a-mile of the scene of the crash.  He wasn't running.  He wasn't trying to hide.  He himself was in shock because he had been in an accident," said LaHood.

A jury was seated, but before the trial could get started  Tuesday, Castaneda entered a guilty plea.

"He made a decision early on that he did not want to put the family of Miss Simpson through the turmoil of having to go through the guilt and innocence portion of the trial," said San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Nico LaHood.

Intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but LaHood is asking for probation for his client. 

"You have a good person who has done good things in his life, but now he's done a bad thing.  I think it's a case-by-case basis," said LaHood.

Castaneda currently is a high school teacher in his hometown of Del Rio.

The sentencing phase of the trial was scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

by Elizabeth Ruiz

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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : San Antonio
People : Elizabeth RuizJose CastanedaLa HoodNico LaHoodTamara Simpson
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