An Austin man whose blood-alcohol level came back more than three times the legal limit was found guilty of his ninth DWI on Wednesday and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Adrian Facundo-Hernandez, 55, agreed to the minimum sentence from his 2015 arrest in exchange for waiving his right to appeal. He was offered a post-conviction plea by prosecutors when his attorney, Travis Ketner, requested a new trial because a juror in the trial had an outstanding theft warrant from 1988.
Before the trial, Facundo-Hernandez rejected a 35-year offer from prosecutors.
In Texas, a third DWI conviction is a felony and carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. However, Facundo-Hernandez’s sentencing range increased to 25 years to life because of his previous DWI convictions. At the time of his arrest he was out on parole from a 2007 DWI in Travis County. He had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in that case, but did not serve the entire term.
His record of DWI arrests dates back to 1985. All of them came in Texas.
The jury deliberated for more than one hour before determining Facundo-Hernandez was intoxicated and operated a car on the night of Nov. 15, 2015 when police woke him while he was in the driver’s seat with keys in his hand. The defendant opted to let Judge Clifford Brown, not the jury, handle sentencing, but then agreed to the 25-year deal.
Facundo-Hernandez was arrested in East Austin after police responded to a call of a car crashing into a parked car on Alf Avenue. When police arrived, the defendant was asleep in the driver’s seat of his parked silver Mercury, according to the affidavit. His car had damage and a flat tire, the document said. Witnesses followed the man to his driveway after hearing noise from the car wreck.
Prosecutors Joshua Reno and Ken Ervin presented the jury a video of the defendant badly stumbling during a field sobriety test, in which he failed all but one of 18 examination points. His blood-alcohol content was .268 percent, more than three times the legal limit of .08.