Error impacts evidence in drunk driving case that killed 5-year-old in 2019: 'There's no justice'

Daniela Hurtado Image
Friday, July 8, 2022
Error impacts evidence in drunk driving case that killed 5-year-old
A search found that the company responsible for sending out the tubes that collect blood in these cases sent out several tubes without the preservative needed.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a 5-year-old killed in a drunk driving crash in 2019 is demanding answers after the man behind the wheel got seven years of probation and no jail time. This comes after the suspect's intoxication charges were tossed aside and he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with serious bodily injury and manslaughter due to reckless driving.

"The Harris County District Attorney's Office does not handle evidence. The results of the case reflect the evidence that we had to work with at the time. Through no fault of our office, its personnel, or any other state agency, the blood evidence, in this case, was suppressed and therefore inadmissible in any trial. We feel the results were a fair resolution to this case," said media representatives with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

SEE ALSO: Suspected drunk driver could face upgraded charge in crash that critically injured 5-year-old

"Those were tubes that were in that lot that BD indicated in their recall notice back in 2019," Peter Stout, the CEO of the Houston Forensic Science Center, said.

Stout says Becton Dickinson, BD, is the manufacturer that sells vials across the country for the blood collection in impaired driving cases. BD ended up recalling several vials after they had already been shipped and distributed to law enforcement agencies across the country. The BD company sent out a batch of more than 250,000 vials. Stout says they were recalled because at least 1,500 vials shipped out by the manufacturing company in early 2019 failed to put the preservative inside the tubes that prevent the blood alcohol concentration from changing over time.

"This is the kind of case, it's what you dread. This kind of scenario was very much our frustration when we got this recall notice," said Stout.

SEE ALSO: Suspected drunk driver was leaving bar at time of crash that injured woman, 5-year-old: Court documents

The mother of 5-year-old Giselle, who was killed from her injuries in the T-bone crash allegedly caused by Israel Lugo, said it's devastating to know the manufacturer's mistake affected her getting the justice she wanted in her daughter's case.

"I'm just very heartbroken. There's no justice for Giselle and not even the state could help me. They knew he was drunk," said Mayra Medina, Giselle's mother. "We're just another number now, they just put us under the rug."

ABC13 reached out to the manufacturing company of the tubes on the matter, we have yet to hear back.

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