An El Salvadorian driver who killed two Victoria motorcyclists while attempting an illegal U-turn in 2018 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Jose Dolores Ascencio, 46, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, April 15, for recklessly causing the deaths of Glenn Bray, 44, and Christine Thames, 50, both of Victoria, according to a news release from 24th Judicial District Attorney Rob Lassmann. Ascencio faced between two and 20 years in prison.

Lassmann’s office serves DeWitt, Goliad and Refugio counties.

According to his office, Ascencio was residing in the country illegally.

March 10, 2018, Ascencio was driving a tractor-trailer in Refugio County when he attempted an illegal U-turn from the right lane of U.S. 77 to avoid a weigh station.

Bray and Thames were riding motorcycles behind him, crashed into Ascencio’s towed trailer and were killed.

After Ascencio fled from the scene in his tractor-trailer, authorities followed a fuel trail from the scene, located the driver and stopped him. They then found Ascencio possessed a fake commercial driver’s license.

Thames is the ex-wife of former Citizens Medical Center CEO Stephen Thames.

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached jwilcox@vicad.com or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

(1) comment

Glenn Wilson

Bray and Thames received death sentences and Ascencio gets only 12 years?! How is it that he didn't at least get the full 20 years. When he's released in 2 to 5 years due to "good behavior" will he be shipped back to his home country or simply turned loose here?

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