EL PASO, Texas -- A man accused of striking an El Paso elementary school teacher with his car and killing her pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors on Thursday and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
24-year-old Joel Velazquez, wearing a jail jumpsuit, appeared in court and entered guilty pleas to manslaughter, accident involving death and tampering or fabricating evidence.
Velazquez admitted to killing Amanda Weyant last Thanksgiving. Prosecutors said his car ran two red lights before he fatally struck her.
The plea agreement called for Velazquez to receive 10-years on each count to be served concurrently, or at the same time.
He offered an apology to Weyant’s family in court, saying he was sorry and knows his actions were wrong. Velazquez said he wished he could take back that day, but he knows he can’t.
He said he also knew the victim’s family might not want to hear what he had to say, which was evident from their victim impact statements to the judge.
Weyant’s father, Danny Ferguson, said the image of seeing his daughter’s body imprint on the hood and windshield of the car is burned in his memory.
“I know you purposefully didn’t set out to kill my daughter that night, but your actions and decisions are unforgivable,” the grieving father said, adding that he hoped there was an “eternity in hell” awaiting Velazquez.