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Man Sentenced In Fatal Hit-and-Run Of Deaf Jogger
Updated: Tuesday, June 10 2014, 06:11 PM CDT
A Travis County judge sentenced Roman Turullos-Gonzalez (pictured) to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine in the fatal hit-and-run trial of a deaf jogger.
Judge David Wahlberg explained he could only serve six months if he shows good behavior behind bars.
Back in June of 2012 Turullos-Gonzalez hit Mark Gobble, a deaf father of two, while he was jogging on Slaughter Lane in Southwest Austin.
"I can't even start to apologize for what I did to your family," said Turullos-Gonzalez, who took the stand Tuesday in his defense.
He shed tears, pleading to the judge that he could change. He explained what he did the night before he hit Gobble.
"We smoked some synthetic marijuana and had a few beers," said Turullos-Gonzalez.
He also told the courtroom what happened after the wreck.
"I went up to him and shook him said, 'sir, are you okay?'" said Turullos-Gonzalez, "I ran in the woods towards my neighborhood. I grew up there so I knew the area. I found a drainage ditch, hid there for about 12 to 13 hours."
Three days later he turned himself in.
At the time Turullos-Gonzalez was on probation for possession of cocaine. The state argued while out on bond he continued to abuse drugs.
"I smoked marijuana during this case, which I know I shouldn't have," admitted Turullos-Gonzalez.
Now two years later Gobble's family heard his punishment.
"While no one can tell me what Mark would want, I am forced to use my intuition," said Judge Wahlberg, "I hereby assess your punishment at a term of 10 years in the institutional division."
On December 12 Judge Wahlberg will see Turullos-Gonzalez for a shock probation hearing.
The judge could award him deferred adjudication meaning he could serve the rest of his nine and a half year sentence on probation.
Gobble's wife Leslie Hussey, also deaf, doesn't know what to think about the decision.
"I'm going to go home and be with my kids and try to move forward," she said.
Others like Bart Griffin, the father of Courtney who was hit by Gabriel Nestande, says Travis County is sending the wrong message.
"He's demonstrated he is a mess, he probably isn't likely to get better. For the judge to be that lenient on him in my opinion is a travesty," said Griffin.
Until the probation hearing, Turullos-Gonzalez's fate rests in his own hands.
(Photo from the Austin Police Department.)