An Upvalley man will serve six years in state prison for killing his front-seat passenger in November 2013 while driving intoxicated.
Bobby Recinos, 22, was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in Napa Superior Court last week to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
On Nov. 9, 2013, Recinos, who had been a cook in St. Helena, was driving inebriated on Highway 29 when he crashed at about 4 a.m. north of St. Helena, killing 30-year-old Gabriella Quezada and injuring two rear-seat passengers,, Lisset Mitre Rojas and Israel Perez.
At the time of the crash, Recinos was on probation for driving without a driver’s license.
Authorities said Recinos moved Quezada’s body to his driver’s seat to make it look as if she was the driver and then lied to responding officers. He also waited 10 minutes after the crash to call 911, according to court testimony.
Quezada, who had a daughter, now 7, was pronounced dead at the scene.
In court Monday, Quezada’s brother, Sergio Gomez, and a cousin, Alexis De la Torre, spoke about their loss, noting Quezada left behind a young daughter.
“She was really a big part of our lives,” De la Torre said.
Lisset Mitre, who is listed in court records as Lisset Mitre Rojas, also addressed the court. She is now in constant pain and has been forced to cut her work hours in half, Mitre told the court.
Referring to Quezada’s daughter, she said Recinos “took away everything she had.”
Recinos apologized for his actions before Napa County Superior Court Judge Mark Boessenecker. “I’m very sorry,” he said as relatives wept in court.
His attorney, Richard Sax of Santa Rosa, argued for leniency. There is no evidence Recinos had been speeding or driving recklessly, he said. His client is very remorseful, he said.
“ It was a horrible mistake,” he said.
He asked that his client, the father of a 2 –year-old son, be spared prison. “Let’s not ruin one more life,” he told the court.
But prosecutor Cody Hunt asked for six years in state prison, saying Recinos did not call police after the crash, moved Quezada’s body and then lied. “It’s a pattern of behavior on his part,” he said.
In the end, Boessenecker agreed, saying Recinos’ actions were “incredibly callous.” Besides prison and fines, he ordered Recinos to participate in counseling and substance abuse treatment program while incarcerated.
Recinos has been in custody since Nov. 9, 2013. He received credit for his time behind bars and good conduct days adding to more than 700 jail days.