Emotional Testimony

December 22, 2008 2:03:51 PM PST
The gang member who killed five people in a Madera County car crash will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.This is the crash that killed a mother, father, and three children in July of 2006. This is the man who was driving the stolen truck that hit their small car. 28 year old Antonio Preciado was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he slammed the pick-up with an attached trailer carrying a bulldozer into the family of five.

Tuesday morning a judge sentenced the known gang member to 79 years in prison.

Salvador Berber: "It was pretty hard but now we see the sentence he gave him, it makes us feel better because we know he's not gonna hurt anybody else no more."

Several of the victims' family members drove from Modesto to hear Preciado's punishment. Guadalupe Caballos lost her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren when Preciado sped through the stop sign at road 29 and avenue 12 in Madera County.

Guadalupe Caballos: "He took my happiness."

"I want to thank you for your letters, they were just so moving."

These family members were not just quiet observers in the courtroom. They also sent the judge letters expressing their grief and asking for justice.

"We all wrote to give him life at least so he can not hurt other people."

After the sentence was read, Preciado told the court he wants to appeal because he felt he was not fairly represented. But for now, the family members say the sentence brings them some comfort.

Martin Berber: "We're trying to move ahead and to cope with what happened."


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