MIAMI (WSVN) - A drunk driver who fled the country after pleading guilty to killing an elderly couple has finally been sentenced 16 years later.
Henry de la Hoz, 46, appeared in court Wednesday for his sentencing hearing and came face-to-face with the victims’ family.
“A smile of satisfaction that finally there’s been some closure. Nothing will ever bring my parents pack, but we can finally go to sleep at night knowing that this man was put away,” said Maria Lisabet Aguirre, the victim’s daughter.
He was arrested on April 18, 16 years after he killed an elderly couple and injured three others that were heading to an Easter Sunday Mass in 2003.
“There’s no way for me to express how sorry I am for your loss,” de la Hoz said to the family in court.
After years of legal battles he pleaded guilty to several DUI charges on Sept. 8, 2008. On the day of his sentencing, de la Hoz fled the U.S. and lived life as a fugitive for 11 years.
“For 16 years, you have run away from the mistakes you made but not today, sir,” a person said in court.
Authorities in Costa Rica located him and turned him in to U.S. Marshals this past March.
“You took that away from me. The affection and love my kids, Olga, named after my mother, and James Michael will never get,” said Victor Lisabet, the victims’ son, in court. “For that, I will never forgive you.”
He was convicted on two counts of driving under the influence with manslaughter, three counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury and DUI with damage to property or injury to person.
De la Hoz was sentenced to 12 years behind bars and five years of probation, a sentence the victims’ family has said is not enough.
“My kids never got to know my mother and father,” Victor Lisabet said. “That kills me. It really hurts inside, so I’ll never forgive him for that. Never. He’s lucky he only got 12 years for killing two people, so that’s justice in a way. Maybe getting away with that killing people for 12 years is not enough for me, but that’s the way it is right now. I’m not sorry for him at all.”
De la Hoz will be transferred to a Florida state prison, where he will serve his sentence.
“He’s got a long road, and maybe, maybe now he has a little bit of remorse. Maybe. Maybe. Wasn’t too moved, though. I was not moved,” Lisabet Aguirre said.
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