“An opportunity for redemption”, Teen sentenced for crash that killed 2 West High students

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Abraham Miranda at his sentencing in Salt Lake City, Thursday December 21, 2017. Miranda, 19, pleaded guilty to manslaughter counts for a February crash that killed two of his West High School classmates and critically injured a pregnant woman and her baby. At right is Miranda's attorney Greg Skordas.

(KUTV)- Abraham Miranda stood in a courtroom to plead for forgiveness and a second chance as a judge weighed whether he would go to prison for the February crash that killed Dylan Hernandez and Vidal Pacheco.

“I’m sorry, I wish I could take everything back, I wish I could switch with them, I think of it every day,” Miranda, 19, told Judge Keith A. Kelly. “All I can ask now, your honor, is an opportunity for redemption, a second chance.”

Judge Kelly accepted the terms of a plea deal Miranda signed with prosecutors in November. In exchange for a guilty plea to two-counts of manslaughter, Miranda will spend 1 year in jail, face 60 months of probation, and pay restitution.

Miranda was 18 when he was behind the wheel of a Chevy Impala that was travelling at over 90 miles an hour on 300 West near 700 North when it lost control, jumped a median and slammed head on into an SUV driven by Amy Wilson. Hernandez, 18, and Pacheco, 17, both died at the scene.

Wilson, who was pregnant at the time, narrowly survived the crash and her baby was delivered by emergency C-section minutes after the crash. Wilson and her baby, Grace, have undergone medical treatments since the crash.

Grace is developing well, but doctors say it could be seven years before the full impact that the violent crash had on her will be known.

“It was beautiful and satisfying to be able to let Abraham know that we have forgiven him,” Wilson said after the court hearing.

In court, Wilson asked Judge Kelly to have leniency and give Miranda a chance to live a full life after his jail term.

“Every time I would look over at him, I just felt in my heart, this poor guy, this poor teenager,” Wilson said.

While Wilson offered forgiveness, the families of Hernandez and Pacheco asked Judge Kelly to order Miranda to serve prison time.

Hernandez’s grandfather, David Bosen, said the family felt “betrayed” by the sentence.

“He receives a light sentence for 2 deaths and destruction of two other people, I can’t call that justice. It’s kind of a mockery of justice,” Bosen said. “There’s many crimes committed where people receive a longer sentence than Abraham did without any death at all.”

While avoiding prison, Miranda does have prison hanging over his head if he violates the term of his probation. The judge gave him credit for time served, meaning Miranda could be eligible for release from prison as early as August.

“He’s a good young man who did a horrible thing and will suffer for it for the rest of his life,” Miranda’s attorney Greg Skordas told 2News.

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