Porterville Man Gets 35-Years to Life for DUI Deaths

VISALIA, Calif. 38-year-old /*Salvador Leon*/ looked down as a judge sentenced him to 35-years to life in prison for two charges of second degree murder plus vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

On February 2nd, 2009, Leon was driving the wrong way on Highway 99 in Earlimart with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. He crashed head-on into the car of a young family.

Lily Saechao was seriously injured. Her 24-year-old Naval Officer husband /*Vilai Her*/ and their 7-month old son Isaac were killed.

Victims' wife, Lily Saechao said, "This man took away my family because he chose to drink and drive. I believe there is no amount of time in jail that will show him how much this has affected me my family and our friends.

Salvador Leon pleaded to the judge for leniency, saying he meant no harm and tried to get a hotel room and drink some coffee before heading out on the road.

Salvador Leon said, "I do want to ask for forgiveness from all family members of the victims."

But the judge didn't feel the defendant truly understood the pain he caused. With four prior DUI convictions the judge told the victims family that he felt the judicial system failed them ... and he was sure Salvador Leon would drink and drive again if he were ever let out of prison.

Hon. Joseph Kalashian said, "And I apologize to all of you ... for that."

In court, Vilai's mother cried as she showed everyone pictures of her son and grandson. Their family says Vilai took pride in being a Naval Officer. He served a tour in Iraq, and they say he loved helping others and being a dad.

Victims' mother, Shoua Vang said, "Mr. Leon your irresponsible actions that night caused the pain and suffering ... nothing in this world can change the pain and anger you've created."

Leon will be back in court next month, when the Her family tried to get him to pay financially for the her family's pain and suffering.

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