Karnes City man arraigned in Refugio County on intoxication manslaughter charge

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Aug. 20, 2014 at 2:27 p.m.
Updated Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:31 p.m.

A 24-year-old man was arraigned earlier this week in Refugio County on intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter charges.

David Noel Leal, of Karnes City, was charged in the death of his 25-year-old wife, Roxanna Leal.

David Noel Leal crashed his 2009 white Toyota Camry on Farm-to-Market Road 2441 at 5:54 a.m. Oct. 13, 2012, according to a Department of Public Safety crash report

Leal was speeding west while trying to make a slight curve on the farm road.

His vehicle left the roadway, hit a culvert and tumbled, coming to rest upright, according to the report.

Leal was pinned in the vehicle and eventually removed and flown to Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi.

His wife, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected. She was declared dead at 6:27 a.m., according to the report.

A grand jury returned a second indictment for Leal on Aug. 5.

Assistant District Attorney Ray Hardy said the new indictment added more acts of recklessness.

The first indictment was handed down on Jan. 28, 2013, according to the Refugio County District Clerk's Office.

Leal's attorney, Adam Crawshaw, of San Antonio, said the acts of recklessness now alleged are speeding and driving while fatigued or asleep.

Blood drawn from Leal while he was being treated at the hospital showed he was below the legal limit for alcohol, he said.

The crash report also indicated Leal admitted he had been drinking.

"This is the result of overzealous law enforcement charging somebody with a crime that didn't actually occur," Crawshaw said Wednesday. "This is a tragedy, and this could happen to anybody."

A jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 1, Hardy said.

Both counts are second-degree felonies, punishable between two to 20 years in prison.

Leal was not in the Refugio County Jail on Wednesday.



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