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Roommate of former Bliss soldier charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter testifies

A jury will soon decide the fate of Jan Michael Nieves Delgado, the former Fort Bliss soldier accused of driving drunk and killing two construction workers.

On May 11, 2014, the freeway was shut down overnight for the construction of Spur 1966 near UTEP. Police said Nieves Delgado, 18 at the time, ignored the road closure. He allegedly crashed through construction barriers, killing construction workers Jimmy Joe Broadstreet, 54; and James Green, 39.

At the scene of the crash, Nieves Delgado allegedly told police officers he was behind the wheel because his friend was too drunk to drive. The former soldier also allegedly told officers he had “taken three shots” of liquor that night.

Nieves Delgado’s blood alcohol content was .11, .03 over the legal limit, a forensic scientist testified last week. The former soldiers faces two counts of Intoxicated Manslaughter.

The defense continued to makes its case Monday morning, calling a soldier and two more police officers to the stand.

The two officers were on TX-DOT traffic detail the night of the crash. One officer was stationed at the intersection of Sun Bowl and Schuster. The other was on I-10 East at the start of the closure.

One of the officers said there were quote “plenty of road signs and barriers” blocking the freeway.

Jurors Monday also heard from Adeel De Jesus, a soldier in the same unit as Nieves Delgado. De Jesus said Nieves had been living with him for about a month at the time.

De Jesus testified he was with Nieves hours before the crash happened. The two went shopping and had an early dinner at Hooters. Nieves did not drink alcohol, De Jesus said, adding he went to bed before Nieves left for the night.

The soldier learned about the deadly crash involving his roommate the next morning when he woke up. De Jesus said he “freaked out” and searched the house to see if any of his beer was missing. He told jurors someone drank three of his beers.

Defense attorneys called Barry Funck, a forensic consultant, to the stand. Funck testified the blood test taken an hour after the crash, which shows Nieves Delgado was over the legal limit, was accurate and reliable.

However, Funck said it would be “highly conceivable the person would be under the legal limit” at the time of the crash. The hypothetical situation was posed by the defense after witnesses testified the former soldier consumed three beers and three shots in the 8 hours leading up to the crash.

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