AP NEWS

Family of dead boy confronts Houston driver who killed two people in one day

October 3, 2018

An uncle and the brother of 6-year-old boy killed in a 2015 crash castigated the driver on Wednesday for driving while under the influence of prescription drugs

Blaine Boudreaux, 38, was sentenced late Tuesday to 80 years in prison after being convicted of felony murder for two fatal crashes, miles apart, on the same day in 2015.

He tested posive for Xanax after killing 6-year-old Joshua Medrano just minutes after a hit-and-run where he killed 61-year-old Leonard Batiste, a homeless Vietnam-era Air Force veteran.

On Wednesday, Medrano’s uncle choked back tears as he remembered the boy during a victim impact statement.

“Even though he was only 6-years-old, he planted a beautiful seed of memories,” Carlos Villareal said from the witness stand of a Harris County courtroom. “And judging by the emotions of your family yesterday, we’re not the only ones you hurt that day.”

Joshua Medrano’s brother also took Boudreaux to task for driving under the influence.

“At the end of the day, you’ll be able to see your kid,” Anthony Medrano said. “Do you know where we have to go to see our dead kid?”

A victim impact statement is the chance for family members to speak directly to a defendant after he or she has been convicted. It happened after Boudreaux officially was sentenced by state District Judge Robert Johnson, capping the end of week-and-a-half trial.

Boudreaux was involved in four wrecks, two of which were fatal over the course of three and a half hours on April 26, 2015, a Sunday afternoon.

Defense attorneys Billy Skinner and Matt Deluca argued that the prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Boudreaux was committing a hit-and-run when he ran a stoplight and caused the wreck that killed Medrano.

After the verdict, Skinner said he was disappointed, especially for Boudreaux’s young son.

Jurors heard evidence of a string of wrecks that began about 3:00 p.m. that day when he rear-ended two people near the Texas Medical Center and was given a traffic ticket by a Houston police officer. About an hour later at Weslayan and Westpark, he rear-ended a man in a smart car.

Within 20 minutes of that, Boudreaux drove his black Dodge Ram pickup to Spur 5, near the University of Houston, where he ran over Batiste.

Minutes later, he was going about 60 mph when he ran a stoplight at Lockwood and Interstate 10, colliding with a Honda Civic and killing Medrano, who was in the backseat.

Prosecutors told jurors that police arrested him on the scene for driving while intoxicated and said blood tests showed he had taken the prescription drug Xanax.

Vehicular Crimes Chief Sean Teare and Lynn Nguyen prosecuted the case.

“This little boy deserves justice,” Teare said as he held up a photo of a smiling Joshua during closing arguments.

Brian Rogers covers Houston crime and courts. You can email him at brian.rogers@chron.com and follow him on Twitter at @brianjrogers.

AP RADIO
Update hourly