DUI driver who killed young girls accepts plea deal, will serve 25 years

Updated: Jan. 18, 2018 at 12:50 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man accused of driving drunk when he caused a crash that killed two young girls accepted a plea deal Thursday.

Juan Carlos Ortega-Santos struck and killed Tyeisha Lacy, 16, and Alena Clay, 10, as they stood in a bike lane along Taylorsville Road near Farrish Drive in Jeffersontown back in 2016.

Following the crash, Ortega-Santos registered a blood-alcohol level of .20, two and a half times the legal limit and did not have a driver's license, any other form of identification or insurance. He was also already under federal investigation, suspected of being in the country illegally.

Ortega-Santos on Thursday pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Just Wednesday, he had rejected a plea offer, and the trial was scheduled to start Thursday. The victims' siblings, who witnessed the crash, would have testified.

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Ortega-Santos pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and wanton endangerment. Had the case gone to trial, he could have faced 20 to 50 years in prison for each of the two murder charges against him.

Clay's and Lacy's families accepted the terms of the plea deal as well.

Attorneys on both sides were uncertain of the status of the federal immigration charges against Ortega-Santos

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