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Repeat drunk driver charged with killing teen, injuring another

If convicted of killing 15-year-old Liza Cavazos this past Sunday, it’s doubtful that 37-year-old Maricella Escobar will get off as lightly as she did following her three previous DWI convictions. Also in Sunday’s wreck, a 14-year-old teen, Santiago Tapia, was seriously injured in the collision, from which Texas DPS said Escobar fled the scene. Tapia was transported to an area hospital. The tragedy unfolded Sunday night at approximately 10 p.m. on Owassa Road between Val Verde and Tower Road, according to information released by the DPS. Liza Cavazos died at the scene, while Tapia reportedly suffered “serious injuries.” At the time of the wreck, both teens were simply out walking a dog. Dressed up in an orange jumpsuit, Escobar is no stranger to the jail, having been arrested and convicted three previous times for DWI. In those cases, however, no one died, and she was basically told to attend one of those classes where substance abusers are supposed to learn how to stay sober. Escobar’s run-in with both alcohol and the law dates back to 2011. Based on court records, she was a dope smoker before that. In 2004, she was convicted of possessing less than two ounces of pot. Seven years later, she was back in court, only this time, she had alcohol on her breath. It was April of 2011. In the court, County Court-at-Law Judge Jaime J. Palacios accepted her guilty plea in September of that year as the case drew close to trial, and then sent her to“Alcohol Classes.” Apparently, the classes didn’t convince Escobar that drinking-and-driving wasn’t the smartest choice because just five months later she was back in county court (Feb. 2012) facing another DWI charge, her second. The judge this time was “Rudy” Gonzalez. This story broke so early that it’s hard to get a guaranteed read on what happened to Escobar following that second DWI and her subsequent guilty plea. The Advance will know by Wednesday (Sept. 9) if she served any jail time. Check online: There is no doubt about one thing, however. Escobar requested, through her attorney, that the court waive her presentencing investigation, which Judge Gonzalez subsequently did, without protest from the office of the District Attorney. That second case appears to have come to a conclusion in approximately April of 2012. Either Escobar still drove drunk but never got caught, or quit doing it between 2012 and 2016 because the next time she shows ...

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