4 charged for roles in underage drunk driving crash that killed Texas mom and baby

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Thursday, April 5, 2018
3 more charged in deadly drunk driving crash
Along with an underage driver, three more people have been charged in a drunk driving crash that killed a Clear Lake mom and her son.

HOUSTON -- Four people have been charged for their roles in a drunk driving crash that killed a mother and her three-month-old son in Clear Lake.

Three adults, including a bartender and the son of a bar owner, are charged with giving margaritas to alleged drunk driver 20-year-old Veronica Rivas at Crescent City Connection Sports & Oyster Bar on 16605 El Camino Real back in February.

Devin Jackson, 24, is the son of the bar's owner. Jackson is charged with knowingly purchasing and providing alcohol to a minor.

Texas law bans the sale of alcohol to those under the age of 21.

John C. Medina, 23, was also charged with purchasing and providing alcohol to a minor. That's a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail along with a $4,000 fine.

Medina was charged with aggravated perjury for lying to a grand jury, as well. That charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Amy L. Allen, 40, a bartender, is charged with acting with criminal negligence by allowing Rivas and her 17-year-old passenger to drink alcohol at Crescent City. Allen is also accused of not checking their IDs. That charge comes with a penalty of up to one year in jail.

Shayla Joseph, 36, and her son Braylan Jabari Joseph were killed on Feb. 28 when police say Rivas slammed into them at the intersection of I-45 and El Dorado. Rivas is charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

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"One night of reckless partying resulted in a lifetime of loss for Bryan Joseph, who lost his wife and son," said Vehicular Crimes Division Chief Sean Teare. "We owe Mr. Joseph, Shayla Joseph and young Braylan justice, and that includes not just holding Veronica Rivas responsible, but every person who had a hand in setting this tragedy in motion."

This case marks the first prosecution for a new District Attorney's Office task force. The group begins its work at crash scenes and then traces events backward to find the source of the alcohol.

"Those who fuel carnage caused by drunk driving are legally responsible, and the community will determine the cost of their actions," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. "Serving or offering someone alcohol is a consequential responsibility."

Rivas' blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit two hours after the crash.

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Teare said the case is not closed, and there could be other charges on the way along with more people held responsible.