HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The same jury that convicted Blaine Boudreaux of murder decided that he will spend 80 years in prison.
The jury began sentencing deliberations just after 3:30 Tuesday afternoon and wrapped up around 7 p.m.
“He should spend every day of it behind bars thinking about the people he killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Hit-and-run murder is an especially cowardly crime."
Boudreaux's attorney was hoping for a lesser sentence than life.
“We are disappointed for Blaine and his family. Like I said in closing arguments, it's a very wide range of punishment. We had asked for something on the lower end ... obviously we thought that was appropriate, but the jury didn’t," defense attorney Billy Skinner said.
Boudreaux took the stand Tuesday morning. The son of alcoholics, he said his dysfunctional childhood in Louisiana made him determined to be a good father to his little boy who was born with serious health problems.
Under questioning from both his attorney and prosecutors, Boudreaux said he couldn’t remember the day he caused four accidents in a few hours. He said he blacked out and awakened to screams, police lights, and an officer telling him he’d just killed a 6-year-old.
In a matter of hours, Boudreaux caused four major accidents and killed 6-year-old Joshua Medrano and 61-year-old Leonard Batiste.
Boudreaux was high on Xanax at the time and was also addicted to opioids. Noting he’ll have to serve at least five years in prison, Boudreaux's attorney asked jurors not to give him the maximum sentence.
"You can send a message without putting Blaine in prison for the rest of his life," Skinner said. “He doesn’t have to be away forever. And I believe that Blaine is the type of person that could be rehabilitated. This wasn’t a cold-blooded murder.”
In closing arguments, prosecutors urged jurors to send Boudreaux to prison for life, arguing that since his first arrest at age 19, he’d never taken responsibility for his problems or life, racking up five DWI arrests.
Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare held up a photo of a smiling Joshua wearing a blue and white striped polo shirt during closing arguments.
Joshua's parents were in court for sentencing.
“This little boy deserves justice,” Teare said. “He never got to grow up. Angel and Cynthia never got to see him have a girlfriend or go to prom or have children – it got take away from him, just snatched away.”
Boudreaux faced five to 99 years, or life, in prison. In addition to the prison term, he was fined $5,000.
The case was prosecuted by Teare and Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nguyen.
“He is a prosecutor’s worst nightmare and we know that,” Nguyen told jurors. “How many more people are we going to let him hurt before we say that enough is enough?”