ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Today defense attorney Michael McLeaish filed a motion asking Judge Denn Whalen to reconsider Angelica Garcia’s 40-year prison sentence.
On Thursday Garcia was sentenced by a jury to 20 years in prison on each count of intoxication manslaughter for the 2019 deaths of 6-year-old twins Mia and Mya Coy; the maxim sentence allowed by law. Whalen then said Garcia would serve those terms back-to back, meaning she must serve one before the other can begin and would not be eligible for parole until she has served at least half of her sentence.
According to the attorney’s motion, Garcia pleaded guilty on both counts “reasonably anticipating” that if the jury gave her prison instead of probation, the judge would run the sentences concurrently based on his decision in another intoxication manslaughter case.
In January 2019, Whalen sentenced Mark Garrett to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of intoxication manslaughter and three counts of intoxication assault. Garrett was arrested in 2017 after his car slammed into an ice cream van, causing both vehicles to go up in flames. The crash killed the three passengers inside the van and also seriously injured Garrett, who was drunk, and his three teenage passengers.
According to the motion, Garrett could have received 90 years in prison.
The jury in Garcia’s case recommended the maximum sentence after evidence showed on July 3, 2019, she had drinks at a bar off Highway 80, then got behind the wheel of her car and drove through a barrier at the end of the E Highway 80 Service Road. The Coy sisters were playing in a field just beyond the road while their family worked at a firework stand.
An reconstruction of the crash showed Garcia first blew through a stop sign before hitting a curb, which sent her car airborne. She then drove through a barricade and hit one twin and then the other, all while driving 62 miles per hour. Garcia then hit a light pole, which later crashed to the ground near her car. Garcia admitted that she didn’t hit her brakes until just before slamming into the light.
The twins were mortally wounded and, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner, no medical intervention would have saved their lives.
Upon hearing the jury’s decision to sentence Garcia to a collective 40 years in prison, the twins’ mother, Agueda Coy, spoke to Garcia from the witness stand. She said in part, “July 3, 2019, replays in my mind every day. That day our world collapsed. You took away two loving daughters. Our sentence started July 3 and it will continue until we take our last breath.”