SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas – Three of the five bar workers who have been charged as part of the investigation of a deadly crash in South Houston briefly appeared in court Wednesday.
Joaquin Gonzalez, Anna Lule and Gustavo Tejada-Garcia said nothing as they left a courtroom after having their hearing dates reset.
Gonzalez and Lule, along with Mildred Garcia and Jazely Barrera, are accused of allowing alcohol to be served to 19-year-old Erick Hernandez while he was at the Servi-Car El 3 bar on Houston Boulevard.
Tejada-Garcia, who is the bar’s manager, is accused of having tequila at the bar even though it was only licensed to sell beer and wine. Tejada-Garcia has said he was not at the bar the night of the crash.
"They were licensed for beer and wine, and they were serving a lot of that," said Sean Teare, of the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "In addition to that, they were serving, in the back, tequila shots to their patrons and ringing them up as custom items."
Investigators said that minutes after Hernandez left the bar on Dec. 17, his vehicle crashed into an SUV and killed 23-year-old Taylor Phillips and injured her 1-year-old son.
Prosecutors said surveillance video shows Hernandez never showed his identification as he was served more than a dozen drinks during the six hours that he spent at the bar.