SAN MARCOS, Texas -- A Gonzales County woman faces murder charges after hitting and killing a San Marcos teen over the summer with her truck.
Alice Ramos was accused of driving drunk. The KVUE Defenders uncovered it's Ramos' fourth DWI arrest. Now the teen's mother questions if the justice system failed her son.
“I don't understand how I don't remember anything, but it's probably best I don't," said Scott Hamm, who doesn’t remember the August morning when a SUV hit his truck head-on on Highway 183 in Gonzales County.
The crash nearly crippled him and killed his little brother, Chet.
Their mother, Lynn, got the call a few hours later at her San Marcos home.
"She said there's been a wreck and Scotty's been life-flighted and Chet didn't make it,” Mrs. Hamm explained while in an interview at the family’s church.
The accused driver is 50-year-old Ramos. According to the affidavit, Ramos' blood contained three times the legal alcohol limit and tested positive for cocaine.
A KVUE Defenders investigation discovered it's her fourth DWI-related arrest, which includes three convictions since 1990.
She had a six-year-old expired driver's license at the time of the accident that killed Chet.
Her last DWI conviction was in 2004. Ramos was sentenced to five years probation, 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
"I kinda felt like she just had a slap on the hand and there was no real punishment," argues Mrs. Hamm.
The prosecutor at the time could have recommended a stiffer sentence for Ramos in 2004. The law allowed up to 10 years probation or prison time.
“Sometimes if the evidence isn't as strong, you would get a better deal," said Heather McMinn, the district attorney for Gonzales County.
McMinn is cautious about speculating why the former prosecutor recommended the sentence.
“It's not out of the realm of possibilities that there were issues with the case, that there was five-year probation," said McMinn.
One of those possibilities? Ramos refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test in 2004. The results could have provided a more compelling case.