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Parents who lost two little boys begged a judge to send drunk driver to prison for life

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In a Fresno courtroom Jose Enriquez pointed to the pictures of his sons and sister in law. (KFSN)

In a Fresno courtroom Jose Enriquez pointed to the pictures of his sons and sister in law. His 10-year-old son Lisandro wanted to be a Highway Patrol Officer and his seven-year-old son Danny talked about being a fireman.

But all those dreams ended in June of 2014 on Highway 180 near Mendota.

Rien Ban was driving a borrowed Mercedes SUV, when he slammed into a family in a Kia.

Belkys Quezada died, along with her nephews. Suyapa Rodriguez was in the Kia that day, but survived; her sons and sister did not.

"He also took mine, even though I am alive. Every moment I think of my children and my sister. Sometimes I cannot sleep, thinking about them," said Rodriguez.

Ban did not speak, but his attorney told the judge he had a very rough upbringing in a Cambodian refugee camp. She said at just four-years-old he was forced to dig canals.

"He remembers the first time that he drank alcohol was in these camps. He was about nine or 10-years-old," said Marina Pincus, Ban's attorney.

The judge said the evidence presented during the trial and jury's decision made it clear, Ban's actions were murder.

"It's no different than if you had picked up a gun and walked up to that car and shot," said Hon. Jonathan Conklin, Fresno County Superior Court.

Ban was given 15 years for each of the four victims totaling 60 years to life. But before handing down the sentence, judge Conklin reminded Ban of the truly innocent victims whose lives were lost.

"Those two boys in that backseat, they died in their chairs. And the sister of the driver in that car did the same."

Ban had no visible reaction; his attorney asked for 30 years.

A passenger riding in the Mercedes also died.

Related Topics:
drunk drivingfresnotrialFresno
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