HOUSTON—A Texas City man has been sentenced to four years in prison after a jury found him guilty of negligent homicide in the death of an 11-year-old girl he ran over at a school bus stop.
Hector Pena, 47, had been charged with manslaughter for the 2012 death of Christina Lopez, but a Galveston jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of negligent homicide.
Christina, an 11-year-old girl who was in the sixth grade, was waiting alone at her morning bus stop on September 24, 2012 when she was run over and killed by Pena's big rig truck. Pena said he didn’t see her at the edge of the pavement at the corner of 26th Street and 30th Avenue.
Last year, the girl’s family won a $6.71 million civil judgment against Pena and his trucking company.
During the punishment phase Pena took the stand and said if he could give his life to get Christina back, he would. His 18-year old son testified saying the accident has changed his family’s life and that if his father were to go to jail, he would have to work to provide for his family, instead of going to college.
Earlier on Wednesday, members of Lopez’s family took the stand and talked about how much they missed the little girl and how their lives have changed.
Pena faced from two to ten years in prison or probation.