FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A convicted drunk driver made a final plea in court on Monday.
Overcome with emotion, Zdeineb Juarez Calderon asked her public defender to read a letter.
"I tried so hard not to cry," public defender Alena Chaps read. "Not because I don't feel remorse, but I felt that I didn't deserve to be the one to cry."
While Calderon asked the court to have mercy, she got the maximum sentence.
She will now spend ten years in prison after pleading no contest to manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, and getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
It was that decision to drive drunk that investigators say cost Jeff Nazaroff his life back in April 2022.
The 59-year-old man was driving in a dump truck through the intersection of Church and Brawley Avenues southwest of Fresno. He was clear to go, but cross traffic had a stop sign.
Calderon's Jeep did not stop.
"The Jeep broadsided the truck," California Highway Patrol officer Sean Duncan said at the time. "The truck was pushed off the roadway into a front yard of a residence where the truck hit a tree."
Nazaroff's family said the man died instantly.
CHP officers arrested the then-22-year-old Calderon for the accident. Her blood-alcohol content was 0.25, more than three times the legal limit.
She was not supposed to be on the road in the first place. She had a suspended license and charges from another alleged DUI just seven weeks earlier when her blood-alcohol level was even higher at 0.3.
The tragic situation was especially difficult for the victim's family.
Not only did they lose Jeff, but his son Tommy also died in an accident more than a decade before in 2008. He was just 14.
Janice Nazaroff spoke of her immeasurable loss in court on Monday.
"We are functioning, but we are sad," the widow said. "My kids (and) my grandkids are my everything. Jeff is not here with me to be a part of it. His family re-created. It is only with God's help I'll be able to crawl forward."
Since Calderon had not been convicted of that first DUI when the second one happened, prosecutors could not charge her with murder for Nazaroff's death. It reduced her sentence from the possibility of life to ten years.