Man gets probation for role in 2019 car crash that killed 5-year-old girl

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Saturday, July 2, 2022
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Israel Lugo was granted seven years of probation for his role in 5-year-old Giselle Luviano's death from a car crash in 2019.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man was given seven years of probation this week for his role in a 2019 crash that killed a 5-year-old girl in east Houston.

Israel Lugo pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with serious bodily injury and manslaughter due to reckless driving, according to Lugo's attorney, Wade Smith.

Lugo was originally arrested for charges involving driving under the influence, but prosecutors offered him a plea deal with a lesser charge.

Smith said the allegations of Lugo being intoxicated relied on what he calls "faulty science" and couldn't be used as evidence in a trial.

"They were defective vials so they couldn't use the blood," the best friend of the victim's mother, Juanita Lamaguer, said. "He got off on a technicality... and basically only manslaughter. He knows he was drunk. People (saw) him at the sports bar where he was drunk,"

Five-year-old Giselle Luviano's family says they're very upset with the outcome of the case and feel justice was not served.

"They should've gave him seven pats on the back because he's a free man... probation is nothing," Lamaguer said. "He was never held responsible. He was never held accountable. For what he did. He murdered a 5-year-old full of dreams... a life ahead."

A few weeks before the crash, Giselle had just turned 5 years old.

The family was at a Quinceañera The night she was injured beyond recovery. The little girl asked her mom how many days before she too could dress up in a big puffy princess dress. One of the final memories for the family of the young girl was her dancing at the party hours before the crash.

"He killed her and murdered me in life. How can I continue living?" Giselle's mother, Mayra Medina, said.

Medina was driving the night Lugo crashed and T-boned her. She says there were four people inside her car at the time including herself. Lugo was behind the wheel of his truck when he allegedly went through a red light and slammed into Medina's car. Medina's 5-year-old daughter and sister were severely injured. Her sister pulled through. Her daughter didn't make it.

"He gets to make memories with his kids, but what about mine?" Medina said. "My daughter's life mattered too and he's out here free."

Medina says Lugo has never apologized or seemed remorseful for what he did. Lugo's attorney tells ABC13 he is pained he caused the crash that resulted in the little girl's death.

The family says the state failed them and still wants justice for Giselle. Giselle's dad said on Friday afternoon that in 2019 when they were at the hospital following the tragic crash, the prosecutors promised they would put Lugo behind bars. He says it's a promise that was not kept.

ABC13 is still awaiting comment from the district attorney's office on the case.

Smith said the judge ordered restitution, which would require Lugo to pay Giselle's family back for all the medical and funeral expenses they had to make following the tragedy.

Smith said prosecutors would need to submit paperwork for the exact amount. They confirm Lugo will have to wear a device that detects alcohol 24/7. Smith also confirms Lugo and the prosecutors agreed to the plea decision as "the right and just outcome."

As for Giselle's mother, it's been three years, and she still doesn't have a car following the deadly crash.

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