DWI trial begins for New Mexico state senator

New Mexico News

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The trial for the state lawmaker accused of driving drunk began Monday.

Sen. Richard Martinez is fighting his highly publicized DWI charge. On Monday, new details were revealed about the crash and what happened to the couple he hit.

It was a long day of testimony from police, along with the husband and wife who were hit in the accident. They say they both continue to deal with the pain he caused.

“I looked to the left and saw a couple of cars come down Industrial Park Road. I turned to look at my wife when all of a sudden, ‘Boom!’ We got hit so hard, I heard tires screeching, but I think they were mine as I was being pushed into the intersection,” Johnny Sisneros said.

Sisneros was rear-ended by State Senator Richard Martinez this past summer in Espanola. Martinez is charged with aggravated DWI and reckless driving.

Monday, Sisneros explained that he and his wife were on their way home from a graduation party when they stopped at a red light at Paseo De Onate and Fairview Lane. Prosecutors also showed an image of Sisneros in the hospital in a neck brace. Then, they questioned Sisneros about the conditions at the intersection. He said it was well lit.

Sisneros says he can no longer work as a security officer at Los Alamos National Lab because of pain. His wife says she’s struggling too.

“There’s days that are tough because it’s hard to sleep, especially in the beginning. There’s still nights that are very uncomfortable,” Gerri Sisneros said.

Espanola Police Officer Dustin Chavez also took the stand. He said Martinez smelled of alcohol that night and had bloodshot and watery eyes. He also pointed out a large stain on the right pant leg of Martinez’s shorts while he was in the ambulance. He told prosecutors Martinez had urinated on himself, which the officer said was a sign Martinez had been drinking.

Prosecutors also played portions of the officer’s lapel video during Monday’s testimony. In that video, Martinez first told officers he had between two and three beers, then when he was in the ambulance he said he actually had three glasses of wine.

If convicted, Martinez faces up to six months in jail. The trial is expected to wrap up Tuesday.

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