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Man sentenced for DUI deaths

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A Roseville man who killed two in a drunken head-on crash received 40 months in prison, the office of the Placer County District Attorney announced Friday. At his sentencing Oct. 27, Julian Manuel Martinez, 41, reportedly apologized to the family of Manuel Espinoza, 65, who died at the crash scene Nov. 1, 2009. His son, David Espinoza, 27, died from related injuries in the hospital in January. “I cannot imagine the devastation this has caused you,” Martinez said. “The mistake I made has broken your hearts. My guilt has been overwhelming. It’s a horrible mistake that I wish I could take back.” Before the tearful apology, members of the Sacramento family excoriated Martinez for his irresponsibility, prosecutors said. Esther Espinoza, a daughter of Manuel Espinoza, said she felt as if “someone had ripped my heart out.” “My family died in a senseless way,” she told Martinez as she fought back tears. “You never should have been driving that night.” The night of the collision, Martinez, who had a suspended license, was falling asleep at the wheel of his 1998 Cadillac sedan. Heading eastbound on Baseline Road just west of Fiddyment Road at about 1:15 a.m., his car then drifted into oncoming traffic and hit the Espinozas’ minivan. In the passenger’s seat, David Espinoza’s wife, Enedina, 62, was also injured. “You also killed my mother emotionally,” Manuel Espinoza’s other daughter, Lorena, said. “She will never be the same.” The two daughters and an advocate for the victims read several other letters from family members and friends who were unable to attend the sentencing, according to a release. “There is absolutely nothing I can say for the pain that was caused on this family. It is my hope that the defendant always remembers the devastation to this family,” prosecutor Jeff Moore said in the release. Martinez had pleaded no contest on Sept. 13 to two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence. He also pleaded no contest to a third felony charge – driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. “No one will be able to completely heal from this,” said Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols, who set a restitution hearing for Dec. 15. ~ Staff report