Our local newspaper ran this story on Friday, January 25th.
This is our response:
Defense’s claim is false. Video footage of the crash shows no cars or traffic in the right hand lane. The defendant chose to swerve left into our son’s car head on. Pierce’s headlights were on and the defendant chose the most dangerous and deadly option. He could have chosen to brake or swerve to the right lane, which was clear.
As to defendant’s criminal history. Crossing the border illegally and never attempting in 14 years to obtain citizenship is a crime.
As to his past in his country. Can he prove he was in the Mexican military, a police officer, wounded by a gang or his father-in-law has cancer? Where would we verify this information? I don’t know how the military or police work in his country, but there’s no military or police I know who would sit in their vehicle like a coward and not try to help the person he just hit head on and caused their car to spin into other traffic. The young man the defendant caused to hit Pierce rendered aid to our son as soon as he got out of his vehicle, but the defendant never left his truck. I don’t care what he claims to have been in his country, he has shown no attempt to be responsible while in this country. No citizenship, no driver’s license, no insurance, no compassion or remorse for our son who laid dying on the side of the road. He had plenty of opportunities in 14 years to do things the right way and certainly that night he showed, yet again, his lack of responsibility.
Mr. Stephens, How dare you say no one else in that court room has more reason to stay in this community than your client! What is it you claim he’s done for this community? We don’t know because he’s living in the shadows. What we do know is he took the life of our youngest son, Pierce. He watched others pull Pierce’s body from his car and try to revive him. Never checking to see if he could help in any way. There were many people affected that night. They will be changed forever by what they witnessed. Pierce’s girlfriend, Jade, who was injured physically and emotionally. The young man traveling with his sister and her 3 month old who was unable to avoid hitting Pierce’s car due to your client negligently crossing the centerline, hitting Pierce head on. That young man, after checking on his family, rushed to Pierce, whose car was careened to the opposite side of the highway. The good samaritans who stopped to help. The first responders, who would later learn Pierce was a child of one of their own. The Trauma team, who learned one of their coworkers was on her way by ambulance and they would have to tell her she lost her best friend she loved so much. Do you really understand how many people he has caused grief? Being part of a community means taking great care to be a good neighbor, coworker, friend and citizen. You can be none of these if you do not follow laws, rules or guidelines. You can tell everyone about what your client allegedly did while in his country, but his actions while in mine cost my son his life. I can, however, tell you and prove to you what Pierce did for his community. He most recently attended Sevier Heights Baptist Church. He worked for FEDEX Express as a courier. He bought a brand new car on his own in 2017. He was an insured driver. He was studying to get his personal trainer certification and worked out daily. He was CPR certified. He journaled everyday his spiritual, fitness and nutritional goals. He was compassionate toward others and made friends easily. He remained close to his childhood friends and teammates as well as their families. He saved money for a down payment for a house and had put a ring in layaway for his girlfriend Jade. He was planning his future. Mr. Stephens, I dare say Pierce had every reason to stay in his community.