A jury convicted Heyner Mendez Castro of driving while intoxicated on Nov. 15 before he was sentenced to probation in an agreement with prosecutors.
The 27-year-old Alief man was arrested after officers found him passed out in the middle of the road in October 2016.
According to Assistant District Attorney Michael Hanson, a Missouri City resident called police on the evening of Oct. 16, 2016, to report a car stopped in the middle of a neighborhood road. Missouri City police officers arrived and found Castro passed out in the driver’s seat with his foot on the brake and the car running. It took the officers several minutes before they could wake him.
After checking on Castro’s safety and the safety of his passenger, the lead investigator conducted a DWI investigation. Castro performed and failed each of the field sobriety tests administered during the evaluation. After his arrest on suspicion of DWI, the defendant refused to provide a blood or a breath sample to determine his blood alcohol level.
In his closing argument, lead prosecutor Michael Hanson told the jury “it was the defendant’s choices that determined his condition.” The jury returned a guilty verdict after 30 minutes of deliberations.
Castro was tried in County Court at Law No. 2 before Presiding Judge Jeffrey McMeans. Driving while intoxicated in this case is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000. The judge assessed Castro’s punishment at 12 months’ probation, including a $600 fine, 60 hours of community service, a DWI education class, and attendance at a victim impact panel where offenders hear from DWI victims who survived to tell their story.
Hanson and Bryan Honeycutt prosecuted the case. Attorneys Brian Ayson and Sean Darvishi represented the defendant.