Inroad Press

Probation After Another Grisly Texas Auto Death


For the second time this month a Texas judge sentenced a driver responsible for a horrific auto accident to rehab and probation.

Leo Ricky Deleon, 28, crashed his car into the back of a semi last June and fled the scene on foot. His passenger Heather Holt, also 28, was killed after nearly being decapitated. Deleon hid in nearby woods and was arrested the following day. The judge in the case, District Judge Teresa Hawthorne, sentenced Deleon to probation and a year in a substance abuse treatment facility.

The lenient sentence for manslaughter was handed down in spite of previous convictions for attempted robbery and injury to a child involving sexual contact with a 3-year-old girl. Deleon had spent some time in prison after his probation was revoked in the attempted robbery case. Because of the previous convictions, the judge could have sentenced him to up to life in prison, and the prosecutor was asking for at least 25 years. Hawthorne did not explain last week’s sentencing when contacted by the Dallas Morning News on Monday, but did offer sympathy to the woman’s family, which includes an elementary age daughter.

There were no blood alcohol tests performed on the driver due to the delay before his arrest. He did, however, admit to police that he was probably drunk at the time of the wreck.

This decision comes on the heels of the case in Fort Worth that gained worldwide attention when a judge sentenced teen Ethan Couch to probation and a year in a luxurious rehab facility after killing four people in a drunk driving incident.

Photo: Dan4th Nicholas