SoCal family outraged, says sentence for drunk driver who killed 53-year-old man was too lenient

A family is outraged over a judge's ruling after they say he was too lenient toward the woman who killed their father in Riverside County, claiming the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Eduardo Gutierrez's mangled motorcycle serves as a bitter reminder for his family. The 53-year-old father and grandfather was killed by a drunk driver last August.

"By basically dragging him 300 feet, she essentially tortured him before he died," the man's daughter, Jordan Figueroa, said.

According to a California Highway Patrol report, the driver, 32-year-old Cecila Martinez, was speeding and under the influence when she rear-ended Gutierrez. A witness with a radar device told investigators he clocked Martinez's speed at 114 mph.

This past July, Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

"My statement said was he not important enough, was his death not violent enough for him to receive maximum sentence because this is what he would have wanted," Figueroa added.

She said family, friends and the prosecutor also implored Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly to hand down the maximum sentence. Instead, Martinez was sentenced to one year in jail with 58 days credit and five years probation.

The county's District Attorney's office says it opposed the light sentence.

"I feel like the judge was her defense attorney more than the attorney himself because the whole time in the courtroom, he was talking about how you are going to live with this your entire life... almost convincing us to feel sorry for her," Jordan Figueroa said.

Just one week after Martinez was sentenced, she was released and allowed to serve out the remainder of her time in home confinement.

Eyewitness News reached out to Judge Kelly through the Court Executive Office for comment but has not received a response.

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