New charges filed against bar patron in fatal wrong-way

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 3 at 2:58 PM

MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- New charges have been filed in the case of a young Spring woman who drove drunk the wrong way down I-45 killing two teens and seriously injuring a third last year.

They were filed against a bar patron who allegedly gave her several drinks that night. The charges came just hours before jurors sentenced Nicole Baukus to 38 years in prison.

“Wow -- we got some justice today,” said Fred Saunders, father to Travis Saunders killed in that wreck.

Baukus had changed her plea to “guilty” in the middle of the double manslaughter and assault trial.

Prosecutor Andrew James was clearly choked up after the sentence.

“Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and this is an appropriate sentence for what she did,” James said.

The young assistant D.A. actually drove past the accident when it happened in June of 2012. Within hours, James learned Baukus herself had lost someone to an intoxicated driver.

“Her ex-boyfriend who was killed. Just blew my mind that someone who experienced what she experienced would go out and get as drunk as she did and do the same thing,” James said.

Security video from the bar On the Rox in Spring showed Baukus consuming 17 shots and four beers in five hours before she drove the wrong way down I-45 near the Woodlands, killing Nicole Adams, Travis Saunders and seriously injuring David Porras.

“Yeah my anger toward that defendant is genuine,” James said.

In a surprise move, Baukus took the stand herself during the punishment phase testifying she considered suicide.

“I don't deserve to be here. I should have died in that crash also,” Baukus said. “They did not deserve to die. I did. They were innocent."

T.A.B.C. agents had been trying to learn who had given Baukus several drinks that night. Through the trial, agents were able to figure out who that was.

“This morning an arrest warrant [was issued] for this individual for providing several of the drinks to Ms. Baukus that evening, and he will be facing criminal charges for his actions,” said T.A.B.C. agent Oscar Williams.

Only David Porras survived the wreck, but with permanent injuries. “We’re grateful David survived the accident but we remember Travis and Nicole Adams every day,” said David Porras’ father.

D.P.S Sergeant Angela Fountain was also at the trial. She had worked with Adams in an anti-drunk driving program. Teens were asked to write a letter as if they had been killed by a drunk driver.

Adams’ father found that letter four days after he buried her.

“He said, ‘after I read it I knew that my daughter knew I loved her,’” Fountain said. “It was amazing. It was a blessing. It gave him some peace and closure that he would never have had.”

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