The Albuquerque father who drove drunk with his two kids in the car and killed another driver will not go to prison, at least not now.
Wednesday, a judge gave him a second chance, with a big argument for leniency being the trauma he suffered in Afghanistan as a soldier.
It was an especially violent crash at Montgomery and Wyoming in December 2017. Steven Deskin hit and killed 34-year-old Ramon Rosas, rear-ending him at nearly 90 mph while driving drunk.
Wednesday was sentencing day, filled with the usual statements from the victim’s family—but this hearing was different.
Steven Deskin is an Army veteran who has been diagnosed with severe PTSD, and on that fateful night was he says he was dealing with it in a very destructive way.
Wednesday, it was a very different Steven Deskin.
“I am truly, truly sorry. I know my actions have hurt so many people, you, Ramon’s family and my own children…It haunts me every day,” Deskin said.
His words prompted a surprising response from the victim’s wife.
“He has been forgiven…we are human beings and we make mistakes,” Megan Corales, the victim’s wife, said.
The plea did not fall on deaf ears. Instead of prison, Judge Christina Jaramillo decided on seven months at an in-patient VA program for PTSD, for now.
“It’s a sad thing this country has turned a blind eye to hundreds and thousands who have served this country and come back with unseen wounds that are not being dealt with,” Judge Jaramillo said.
The hearing ended with an unexpected meeting in the hallway between two families, both working to heal.
Judge Jaramillo has said she will officially sentence Deskin when he completes the VA program. If he does well, he could face just probation. If not, he faces up to 12 years in prison.