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A Texas man is being held on a $1.6 million bond following a car accident that killed a mother and her two children. 

Alvarado police arrested Ricardo Martinez, 53, on three charges of murder and one of intoxication assault stemming from an accident that killed Maranda Abshire, 22, and her children, Christopher Adrian Dominguez, 5; and Cruz Dominguez, 2, on Sunday morning. 

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday Alvarado police responded to reports of a pickup traveling the wrong way on U.S. 67, learning en route that there had been a crash between the truck and another car.

Officers arrived to find the a Toyota pickup in the center median facing southbound. Police found Abshire and her three passengers in a Ford Mustang and noted that they were properly restrained at the time of the accident. Abshire and both of her sons were pronounced dead at the scene. 

The fourth passenger, Lindsey Reynolds, 13, Abshire’s half-sister, was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center for treatment of a broken arm and thumb.

According to the warrant, officers found Martinez still in his truck and detected “a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage” when he spoke. When asked by officers how much he had had to to drink, Martinez responded "a lot." Police also noted an open container of Budweiser in the front passenger area of Martinez’s pickup.

Officers on scene determined that Martinez’s pickup was traveling the wrong way on the divided roadway of U.S. 67 and crashed into Abshire’s car. Records subpoenaed from Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital show that Martinez’s blood alcohol content totaled .240 at 4:11 a.m. Sunday, according to reports.

The arrest warrant also notes that Martinez was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 1991 in Denton County and again in 2012 in Tarrant County.

Johnson County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Ronny McBroom ordered that Martinez be randomly tested for drugs and that an interlock device be placed on his vehicle should he bond out.

Court officials explained that Martinez received murder instead of intoxication manslaughter charges because of the felony murder rule. The rule allows for a person to be charged with murder should a slaying occur while the suspect is in the commission of another felony. The felony in this case was Martinez’s alleged third instance of driving while intoxicated, court officials said. Officials added that the punishment range on a murder charge is higher than on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

Smith writes for the Cleburne (Texas) Times Review.

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