BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A man responsible for a crash that paralyzed a young girl received harsh words from a prosecutor and a 64-year sentence from a judge Friday.
“He is a one-man crime spree,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Patrick Costigan told the court during a sentencing hearing.
Costigan argued for the maximum sentence for David Jesse James Alva, who in October was convicted of assault and DUI charges following a February crash that seriously injured Sandra Acuna-Mendoza and crippled her then 7-year-old daughter, Jamile Hernandez.
“Mr. Alva is a public safety hazard,” Costigan said. “He cost this beautiful young girl her legs and changed this family’s lives forever.”
“I’m still waiting to wake up from this nightmare,” Acuna told CBS4’s Karen Morfitt 18 days after the accident. “We just found out that she is probably never going to walk again. … We were taking the training wheels off her bike this spring.”
According to a news release from the Adams County DA’s Office, Alva was smoked methamphetamine and marijuana “all day” February 6th and then fled from police in a stolen car. He sped through a stop sign at 68th Avenue and Pecos Street in Westminster at 80 miles per hour with his vehicle’s lights off and struck Acuna-Mendoza’s SUV broadside. The posted speed limit at the intersection was 30 m.p.h.
Acuna-Mendoza and her daughter were returning home from a funeral.
Alva was out on bond for another case, had an active warrant for his arrest, and possessed a lengthy history of auto theft, burglary, and eluding police.
“The actions of Mr. Alva demonstrate the extreme dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in our communities,” said District Attorney Dave Young. “This sentence is a strong message that this will not be tolerated in the justice system.”
Adams County District Judge Robert Kiesnowski, Jr., said Alva’s conduct was “unconscionable and inexcusable.”
Alva received his sentenced the day before his 25th birthday.
Coincidentally, Jamile’s step-father, ——–, Ted Chavez, was one of several people who helped comfort a young boy who was struck and trapped underneath a van near a Westminster elementary school late last month.