New Mexico Man Faces 2nd Fatal Crash With Links to 1st Judge

A New Mexico man sent to prison six years ago for killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk is back in jail on the same charges, this time for a crash that killed the brother of the judge who sentenced him.

The accident Saturday happened after a witness told KOB-TV that she called 911 twice to report seeing Jacob Williams, 27, driving erratically around her neighborhood near the town of Belen, about 30 miles south of Albuquerque.

But deputies failed to respond before a pickup that authorities said was driven by Williams veered over a center line, killing Daniel Sanchez, 51, and seriously injuring his 11-year-old daughter, Magen.

According to the criminal complaint, breath tests found Williams’ blood-alcohol level at 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit of 0.08.

State police said Daniel Sanchez died instantly. Magen, a passenger on her father’s motorcycle, has undergone at least two surgeries for injuries to her leg, a family member told the Albuquerque Journal.

Sanchez’s brother, state District Court Judge William Sanchez, of Los Lunas, presided over the 2008 case in which Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of vehicular homicide, great bodily harm by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

William Sanchez sentenced Williams to the maximum six years in prison allowed under the plea agreement.

In that case, authorities said Williams, then 21, failed to stop at an in August 2006 intersection in the town of Rio Communities and struck a motorcycle. That crash killed the motorcycle driver, Quin Sanchez, 42, of Belen, who was no relation to Daniel and William Sanchez.

The death of the judge’s brother appeared to be coincidental.

Christy Sisneros said that on the day of the latest crash, she called 911 to report Williams driving erratically, and then called again three hours later to report seeing him getting into a fight with a neighbor.

“They could have got him here before he left anywhere,” Sisneros said. “I gave them enough information.”

A Valencia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said only five deputies were working that day, and they were tied up with other felony crimes and another fatal crash.

No attorney was listed for Williams. An arraignment for him on the latest charges has been postponed until Thursday, officials said.