FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A valley farm worker behind the wheel during a deadly accident last year will not have to spend any time in jail.
The judge said he took a lot of time to consider what was fair in this case.
Agustin Mendoza has no criminal past and was doing a favor by taking two extra people home when the crash happened. He was spared jail time Friday and was, instead, given three years of probation.
Mendoza stood in court Friday, his attorney said his client was terrified at the thought that he could potentially serve six years in prison for the death of a father and son and two other farm workers.
"The result, he's responsible," attorney Arthur Collins said. "The outcome was terrible but in whole, we have to let judgment consider the background of the person that's being judged, what they've earned in the way of punishment."
The 15 letters were submitted to the court on Mendoza's behalf.
Some were from Mexican government officials who knew the defendant years ago when he lived there. And each noted his upstanding character and work ethic.
The judge also pointed out some additional circumstances.
"You did not know the road," judge Ralph Nunez said. "You were directed onto that road by one of the two gentlemen who asked for a ride because they had been left at this place of work and had no way to get home."
The deadly crash happened last January after Mendoza tried to pass a semi-truck that was turning at an intersection.
None of the victims who died were wearing seat belts. The van was just one seat belt short of the passenger load.
The parents of one of the victim's also wrote a letter urging he court to drop the criminal charges altogether.
In addition to probation, Mendoza must also spend 30 days in the adult offender work program.