EVERETT — She prays that strangers will stop staring at her husband’s face, or at least one day Juan Quintanilla’s confidence will return and the staring won’t hurt so much.
Quintanilla’s wife patted his hand Tuesday afternoon as they waited for the man responsible for disfiguring Quintanilla to be sentenced.
Last month, a jury convicted Pedro Crenshaw, 33, of vehicular assault and two hit-and-run crimes. He’d already pleaded guilty before trial to driving with a suspended license.
Jurors were convinced that Crenshaw was intoxicated when he crashed his car on Lowell-Larimer Road in 2013. Three hours after the crash, his blood alcohol level was .089. He was driving more than 100 mph seconds before losing control of his car.
The Cadillac plowed through a chicken wire fence topped with 2×4 boards. Boards crashed through the windshield. Quintanilla, a passenger, was struck in the face.
“You nearly killed your friend. You literally smashed half his face off,” Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel said.
Quintanilla spent six weeks at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in addition to severe facial wounds. He hasn’t been able to return to work.
The jury found that the crash was particularly egregious because of Quintanilla’s injuries. That opened the door for Appel to go beyond the one-year maximum set by the state’s sentencing guidelines. He sentenced Crenshaw to three years behind bars.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Toni Montgomery asked for five years and the defense asked for less than a year on work release.
Crenshaw is appealing his conviction. His lawyer, Laura Shaver, asked the judge to allow her client to remain out of custody pending the outcome of his appeal. Appel promptly denied the request.
Crenshaw has denied that he caused the crash. He also testified that he didn’t run from the accident to avoid police. He claimed he was running to find Quintanilla’s wife, a nurse.
Appel, who presided over the trial, told Crenshaw on Tuesday that his story wasn’t believable.
The defendant was speeding and drunk, the judge said. He wasn’t even supposed to be driving.
“It’s quite clear you were running from your friend who was apt to die and probably would have if not for a quick response from medical personnel and a sheriff’s deputy,” Appel said.
Crenshaw told the judge that he believes in telling the truth. “My story has never changed,” he said.
It only took the jury an hour to reach its verdict. It’s clear Crenshaw’s testimony didn’t carry much weight, Montgomery said.
Quintanilla and his wife said their pain has been prolonged because the defendant has refused to accept responsibility for his actions.
“Pedro has had more than enough time to do the right thing,” Quintanilla’s wife said.