COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) — A Colorado woman found guilty of driving drunk has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crash that killed her 11-month-old daughter last year in Commerce City. Witnesses said Charlene Sunshine Munoz-Trujillo grabbed the baby, “threw” her into her car and drove off in a rage after an argument with the baby’s father.
Prosecutors says Munoz-Trujillo was driving 67 mph in a 30 mph zone and had a blood alcohol content of 0.214 when she crashed into a parked truck in the 6500 block of East 80th Avenue on July 28, 2018.
Eleven-month-old Isabella Jimenez suffered “catastrophic head injuries” in the crash and was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital. The baby girl was not in a car seat and was thrown from the vehicle as a result of the crash.
Munoz-Trujillo, 37, was charged with child abuse resulting in death, vehicular homicide and DUI. She took a plea deal that capped her sentence at 20 years.
The baby’s father objected to the sentence, telling the judge it was an accident and that Munoz-Trujillo never intended to cause the death of their child.
“This was not merely an accident,” Adams County District Judge Roberto Ramirez said. “You chose to do those things. That little girl had no choice and you killed her.”
Ramirez said that Munoz chose to take her child from a caregiver who was protecting her and chose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
“This was not an accident,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rhamey said at the sentencing hearing. “She was driving recklessly at a minimum speed of 67 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone down a one lane street. She didn’t put her child in a car seat. That baby was free-floating in that vehicle when it crashed. Twenty years is not a sentence that embodies the loss of a life so young.”