ONLY ON 13: Man accused of being intoxicated after hitting, killing 6-year-old, denies being drunk

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Friday, January 6, 2023
Murder charges dropped against man who ran over, killed 6-year-old: DA
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Harris County Sheriff's Office has dropped the charges against Pedro Hernandez, who said he wasn't drunk when he ran over and killed a 6-year-old boy on Oct. 1

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Police have dropped murder charges against a man they said was intoxicated when he ran over and killed a 6-year-old boy.

Darien Lewis, 6, died after Pedro Hernandez ran him over in a parking lot on Leawood Drive on Oct. 1

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Hernandez said he hoped the victim's family would forgive him, but it was not his fault.

He is a free man three months after being charged with murder.

Police believed Hernandez had been drinking that night. However, a prosecutor told ABC13 that Hernandez's blood alcohol content was 0.00.

ABC13 spoke with Hernandez, and he said that police thought he was drunk because a group of people had beaten him up before officers arrived.

New evidence, including surveillance video, leads the district attorneys to believe that the 6-year-old ran in front of Hernandez's car.

"Parents have to be careful and hold their children by their hand," Hernandez said. "Kids will be kids and dart off in any direction."

ORIGINAL REPORT: 'He was laughing': Grandfather tells only ABC13 about driver accused of DWI when he hit 6-year-old

Dana Hubbard, Darien's grandfather, was walking with his grandson that night.

He told ABC13 he smelled alcohol on Hernandez's breath.

"Something has to be done," Hubbard said. "A slap on the wrist, don't be scared to prosecute. The result there was a life taken."

He's reminded about that night every time he passes this area.

"This is like a slap in my face and a slap in my daughter's face," Hubbard said.

Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office office explained that it's their job to look at the facts.

"It's to seek justice, and sometimes justice is to dismiss a case, even one as emotionally charged and tragic as this was," he said.

Teare said they could not prove that Hernandez was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

"Every single case that we work is a tragedy. But, once all the facts are gathered, not every one of the tragedies we handle turns out to be a crime, " Teare said.