For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced the results of a recent felony DUI prosecution that concluded late last week with a sentencing hearing. The defendant received 40 years in prison for having caused the deaths of two victims in a fatal crash that occurred in Sparks in February of last year. The sentence ensured the defendant will serve a minimum of 14 years in prison before parole eligibility begins.
In commenting on the sentence, DA Hicks stated, “My office is dedicated to holding DUI offenders accountable for the unthinkable tragedies they cause and will continue to work with the community to increase awareness of the intolerable risks associated with driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol”.
Jesus Rojo-Perez, 23, from Reno, pled guilty in January to two counts of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Controlled Substances Above the Legal Limit and was sentenced last Wednesday in Washoe County District Court to two consecutive maximum terms of 20 years in prison by Judge Elliott Sattler.
The case against Rojo-Perez began on February 7, 2017 when the Sparks Police Department (SPD) responded to a traffic collision at the intersection of Greenbrae Drive and Rock Boulevard. When officers arrived they located one deceased victim and one victim clinging to life as a result of the crash. Rojo-Perez was found unconscious and seat-belted in the driver’s seat of his truck. The SPD Major Accident Investigations Team (MAIT) was called to investigate and determined that Rojo-Perez was driving impaired at a high rate of speed westbound on Greenbrae Drive when he ran a stop sign and struck a sub-compact passenger car traveling southbound on Rock Boulevard. Rojo-Perez’s passenger, an 18 year old male, was ejected in the crash and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Rojo-Perez struck the sub-compact vehicle in the intersection, killing the 28 year old female driver immediately on impact.
MAIT investigators determined the force of the crash caused the victim vehicle to travel 206 feet, where it came to rest colliding with a residence on Greenbrae Drive. Rojo-Perez’s truck came to rest after colliding with a residence 130 feet from the collision site. MAIT Investigator’s further determined that Rojo-Perez’s blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit at .19 and that he also had active intoxication levels of both Marijuana and Cocaine, suggesting recent use of the narcotic substances. Rojo-Perez was subsequently arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Nathan MacLellan informed the Court that a third party in the vehicle provided information that due to Rojo-Perez’s obvious intoxication, the passenger victim had removed his seatbelt and demanded that Rojo-Perez pull over to let him walk home. Instead of complying, he angrily accelerated the truck through the stop sign causing the death of his friend and the driver of the other vehicle. It was also noted that the driver of the victim vehicle was three months from obtaining her PhD in Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, where her studies were focused on finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease and ALS. The University of Nevada posthumously awarded this victim’s PhD to her family. At sentencing she was described by her sister as the light of their family.