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Drunk Driver Gets 35 Years To Life

MADERA – A drunk driver who killed two Madera women and seriously injured another passenger, was sentenced today to 35 years to life in state prison.

Richard Farias, 57, of Madera, was sentenced on Wednesday, Jan.16, for his conviction on two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, and a separate felony count of driving under the influence and injuring another.Deputy District Attorney Matthew Pfeffer presented a number of witnesses during the 10-day trial, which ended on Nov. 20, 2012. Those witnesses testified that on Nov. 13, 2010, Farias was driving at excessive speeds on Avenue 14 near Madera, while under the influence, with three passengers in his vehicle, according to Madera County District Attorney Michael R. Keitz.

Deborah Lyon and Marcel Rodriguez, both of Madera, were killed when the vehicle swerved off the road and rolled over numerous times before landing in a field. A third passenger, Valentino Valdez was seriously injured but, survived the crash.

The court sentenced Farias to five years in prison for driving while intoxicated and causing great bodily injury to Valentino Valdez; an additional 15 years to life for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the death of Deborah Lyon; and, a further 15 years to life for the death of Marcel Rodriguez.

“This is a very tragic case where two families were devastated when their loved ones were killed, and a third person was seriously injured because of Mr. Farias’ reckless action and disregard for the law,” said District Attorney Keitz. “These sentences carry an important message: don’t ever drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Far too many lives have been tragically taken and families disrupted through this deadly combination.”

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