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Cristian Diaz sentenced for fatal drunk driving crash

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Cristian Diaz sentenced for fatal drunk driving crash

By Denise Wong. CREATED Mar 17, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The man who drove drunk and killed an 18-year-old will be spending the next 8 to 20 years of his life behind bars.

Cristian Diaz was sentenced on Monday morning, "I truly am sorry for what I did."

It was the first apology from 20-year-old Diaz, 15 months after he crashed a sportscar into Anne-Marie Ricci and Jesse Hill. 

The teenage couple was walking on the sidewalk on Gliding Eagle Road, when Diaz, speeding nearby, lost control. The car jumped the curb and ran over hill. 

Jesse died at the hospital. His girlfriend survived, but still has brain injuries. 

Diaz's defense attorney admits his client was going about three-times the 25 mile an hour speed limit, but he said you can't blame the tragedy on the marijuana.

"The marijuana metabolites in his system did not cause the crash. His own decision making in terms of how fast he was driving is what caused the crash," said Attorney Jason Weiner.

Jesse's mother wasn't quite ready to speak to Action News on camera after the sentencing, but her sister felt as though some of the claims the defense attorney was making about marijuana were insulting.

"I felt it was a slap in the face, to be honest with you. If marijuana didn't impact people why has it been illegal all these years?" said Yvonne Fletcher, Jesse's aunt.

But for Anne-Marie, now a senior in high school, getting through Diaz's sentencing feels like a huge weight has been lifted. 

She'll never have her boyfriend back, but she'll always be around for his mother.

"We were going to be each other's families, so I'll be there whenever she needs me," said Anne-Marie.

Diaz did receive the maximum sentence, which is what the victims' families wanted.

Denise Wong

Denise Wong

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Denise Wong is a general assignment reporter for Action News. Catch her live reports on Good Morning Las Vegas.

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