Margarito Quintero Rosales was in the country illegally and not licensed to drive when he fell asleep at the wheel in 2016 and crossed the center line of a Texas highway, ultimately striking a vehicle driven by Collin County volunteer firefighter Captain Peter Hacking, who was killed in the crash, as were his four-year-old daughter Ellie and his 22-month-old son Grayson. His widow Courtney Hacking has been left to raise their four remaining children alone. As if this wasn’t tragic enough already, a judge’s decision has now compounded Courtney’s pain exponentially.
Rosales had been deported once in 2008, but as so many of the illegals who wind up killing American citizens do, he made his back into the country. Fast forward eight years to 2016 and Rosales was arrested at the scene of the accident, where Hacking and his two young children died. He was held in jail until his conviction.
In June 2016, a Collin County grand jury indicted Rosales on three counts of manslaughter. In Texas, the penalty range for each count is anywhere from two to twenty years in prison. Rosales should have received the maximum and spent the rest of his natural life behind bars to pay for his crime. However, that’s not the outcome of this upsetting story. Far from it, actually.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show Quintero struck a deal with prosecutors from Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis’ office whereby he pleaded guilty to a single count of the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide. The other two counts were dismissed by 308th District Court Judge Benjamin N. Smith as part of the plea agreement. The maximum penalty for this charge is two years in state jail.
Quintero received a credit for time served of more than 500 days before his conviction, the Dallas ABC affiliate reported. His jail time will be completed in a little longer than 100 days. [Source: Breitbart]
“How do you look at someone and say, ‘You killed 3 people, two years is all,’” asked Courtney Hacking. Fighting back tears, she told WFAA, “I feel like I walk around just existing. I’m not happy, and I’m not sad, I’m just here.”
In an emotional interview with Fox & Friends on Saturday morning, she expressed her grief over the loss of her husband and two smallest children. “I miss their kisses,” she said. “I miss everything about them on a daily basis.”
“People think his crime and his punishment seem to fit because he was an illegal immigrant,” Courtney Hacking explained. “But to me, being illegal in the country was a crime on its own, so I don’t understand how he did get only two years,” she added.
“The message needs to be put across to them that when you come to this country you need to do it legally,” she said, “because when they come here all they’re getting is…they’re committing crimes, they’re getting a slap on the wrist and they’re going back to Mexico or they’re going back to whatever country they came from.”
It is difficult to imagine living with the immense grief Courtney Hacking must deal with on a daily basis. She is an incredibly strong woman. Her four surviving children are fortunate to have her as their mother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hacking family, but they are of little condolence when the man who killed three of her closest family members will be walking free in a little over 3 months. She’s right in that a message needs to be sent, and this case failed miserably at doing that.