Ruben Partida sat forward in his chair, waiting anxiously Tuesday afternoon to see what prison sentence would be handed down to the man who earlier in the day had been found guilty of killing his wife and daughter in a fatal DWI accident in July 2020.
After deliberating about two hours, a Cameron County jury sentenced Jose Junior Lincoln, 42, of Harlingen, to 15 years in state prison for each charge of intoxication manslaughter he was found guilty of shortly before noon. The sentences will be served consecutively.
The case was tried before 404th state District Court Judge Ricardo M. Adobatti.
Authorities said Lincoln, the driver of the white pickup truck, was intoxicated when his truck crashed with a gray Ford Edge occupied by Minerva Partida, 51, and her daughter, Ashley, 27, killing the two women instantly in the July 13, 2020, accident that occurred in Harlingen. The mother and daughter had just driven down to the Stars Drive-In on Tyler Street to get ice cream.
The force of crash caused the truck to roll over and lose its front tires, police said.
Leticia Garza, Minerva’s niece, and Ashley’s cousin said, “I don’t think that’s enough,” referring to the 15 years the jury gave Lincoln. “I think maximum should be executed today and not be running concurrently, because then really at the end of it, its 7 ½ years for two lives lost. He’s 42, he’s going to come at when he’s 57 probably sooner because he’s eligible for parole…he still took two lives violently in that accident. The time he is going to serve just doesn’t equal the amount of loss we suffered.”
The maximum sentence for each count would have been 20 years.
Lincoln said he had been cut off by a white Camaro that was also traveling on Tyler Street which resulted in him crashing with the SUV the Partida’s were riding in.
“First of all, my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to Mr. Partida who in a horrible instance on the evening of July 13 of 2020 tragically lost his loving wife and beautiful daughter to a now convicted drunk driver. As the District Attorney, I deal with the criminal loss of life every day.,” Cameron County Luis V. Saenz said in a statement. “However, no case has emotionally impacted me more than this one. Mother and daughter are at home and simply decide to “go get some ice cream” and never come home alive. How many more wives and daughters are we going to lose before people stop driving while intoxicated? This did not have to happen!”
Ruben Partida, testified during the punishment phase of the trial that he and his wife had been married for 29 years. He testified that since the deaths of his wife and daughter he just feels “alone.” “I just don’t seem to care. Everything I had is gone.”
Prior to the accident, Partida had been undergoing treatment for cancer but after losing his family in the accident, he stopped seeking treatment which eventually led to the loss of one of his eyes.
Partida said he wanted Lincoln “locked up until my girls come home.”
Court testimony last week revealed that Lincoln had been at Applebee’s in Harlingen with friends and had consumed several beers over a period of six-hour period in moderation. Testimony also revealed that four Dos Exquis beer cans were found in and around Lincoln’s truck at the crash site.
Teresa Lincoln, testified Tuesday that her husband was a very good man and that “I wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t.”
She testified her husband has served in the military and is suffering from PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had experienced depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
When asked if her daughter would have been the victim of this type of accident, what sentence would she want imposed on the person who killed her daughter, Teresa testified “I can’t tell you how I would feel. I believe that in the end, that’s for God to judge.”