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Jury finds man guilty for DWI wreck that killed El Paso nurse

A jury has found a Sunland Park man guilty of intoxication manslaughter for the death of an El Paso nurse fatally wounded by a stop sign in West El Paso. The verdict was unanimous.

Just after a Mardi Gras celebration in 2017, police say Lorenzo Anchondo struck a stop sign with his truck, which fell and killed 33-year-old Xiaoyan Shi.

Soon after the verdict came down, the victim’s husband told ABC-7 he was feeling a sense of closure. “I want to say the work the district attorney’s office has done is very good. I appreciate that,” said Xiato Xu.

“He stepped on the gas when he should have stepped on the brakes because he was intoxicated,” said Amanda Enriquez, a prosecutor for the case, during closing arguments.

“The area is inherently dangerous to start with,” said Brian Livingston, the suspect’s public defender.

According to El Paso police, Anchondo’s blood alcohol content was .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

Prosecutors played footage of Anchondo failing multiple field sobriety tests. They also displayed receipts of numerous alcoholic beverages they say were purchased on his credit card.

“That is the reality of drunk driving,” Enriquez told the jury in closing arguments.

Anchondo’s public defender argued that the numerous pedestrians in the area and the construction made driving conditions dangerous.

Livingston also told the jury that Anchondo took his field sobriety tests more than 45 minutes after the crash. He argued that his client could have grown more drunk after the alcohol had a chance to settle.

“Sometimes, alcohol hits you like a brick wall,” Livingston said.

The jury had to decide whether to convict Anchondo of intoxication manslaughter, manslaughter or driving while intoxicated.

The jury went into deliberation at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The verdict came down at about 7:45 p.m.

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