When Manolo Lee Torres was arrested in August, he originally pleaded not guilty to felony DUI. However, as the months passed, he changed his plea to guilty.
He was in court Dec. 5 to be sentenced for DUI with a prior felony DUI conviction. There is no possibility of parole with conviction of that Category D felony, which carries a mandatory prison sentence and $2,000 fine.
Public Defender Matt Stermitz said his client’s guilty plea showed he acknowledged the crime, knew he shouldn’t have done it and was ready to accept the punishment attached. “Mr. Torres obviously has an alcohol problem,” Stermitz concluded.
When Torres had the opportunity to speak to Sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Montero, he indicated he has not been drinking while on release pre-sentencing. “I didn’t drink when I was released,” he said, “I just want to get this over with so I can start my life again."
He has worked as a contract employee in the mining industry and told the judge he was paying his child support when he was working. However, his prison term is a minimum of three years and a maximum of 8 years, so he won’t be working for a long time.
In addition to the prison term, Torres will have to pay a $2,000 fine, a $250 public defender fee $60 forensic fee $25 administrative assessment and $153 DNA collection and analysis fee. He was taken from the courtroom in handcuffs.