Updated August 17, 2022 - 4:46 pm
A 34-year-old Texas man was sentenced Wednesday to at least six years in prison for causing a DUI crash that killed a moped driver.
Police have said that Andrew Rodriguez of New Braunfels, Texas, reached 141 mph while driving a 2017 Lamborghini Huracan moments before the crash that killed 58-year-old Walter “Jay” Anderson on June 5, 2021. In March, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to a felony count of DUI resulting in death.
District Judge Jasmin Lilly-Spells sentenced Rodriguez to between six and 20 years in prison. Rodriguez, who had been free on bail, was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs on Wednesday.
Before he was sentenced, Rodriguez apologized to Anderson’s sisters and mother, who attended the hearing.
“To the Anderson family, I’m very sorry,” the defendant said. “It was an accident, and I never meant to hurt anybody, and I’m sorry for your loss.”
Anderson’s sister Lisa told Rodriguez to think about his actions the night of the crash, when he was “partying like a rockstar.”
“I hope you get the help you need to stop drinking and driving, so that this will never happen to another family,” she said.
Rodriguez was driving the Lamborghini, which had a Minnesota license plate, on Russell Road when he slammed into the back of a TaoTao moped being driven by Anderson at Rogers Street, east of Decatur Boulevard, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report. Anderson died at the scene.
Police said Rodriguez admitted to drinking before the crash. Two witnesses told police that they were in another Lamborghini, “joyriding” alongside Rodriguez on their way to a party, when Rodriguez sped off from them, the report said.
Using data from the Lamborghini, investigators determined that Rodriguez reached 141 mph before trying to slow down. The car decreased to 127 mph by the time the airbags deployed, the report said.
“This was a tragic circumstance, and Mr. Rodriguez expressed his sincere remorse to the victim’s family,” defense attorney Richard Schonfeld said on Wednesday.
Antoinette Alderman, Walter Anderson’s eldest sister, said she wanted Rodriguez to receive a longer sentence. Alderman said she wished Nevada’s laws were stricter when it came to drunken driving sentences.
“We couldn’t change anything. The judge could not change anything,” Alderman said. “In that way, I think it’s a sad sentence.”
The plea agreement that was signed by Rodriguez carried the condition that the judge sentence him to the negotiated six-to-20-year prison term, court records show.
During the sentencing hearing, Alderman told the judge that her brother enjoyed joking and leaving her teasing voicemails. He loved animals and had pet pythons, turtles and cats.
Alderman said her brother’s death tore through her family, especially her mother.
“Jay is just not a statistic to his family,” she said. “He’s not a ‘DUI with death.’ He was a man who was loved.”