EDINBURG, Texas (AP) A South Texas teenager has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted in a 2012 wreck that killed nine immigrants.
The Monitor reports 17-year-old Junior Benjamin Rodriguez received his sentence Tuesday. He was 15 when he was fleeing Border Patrol agents and flipped a van carrying at least 17 immigrants.
Rodriguez had faced nine counts of murder, but prosecutors reduced the charges to nine counts of manslaughter as part of his guilty plea.
Rodriguez will be eligible for parole in 2018.
He told Hidalgo County District Judge Israel Ramon that he didn't intend for the wreck to happen and said he was "very sorry."
Ramon said it was difficult to overlook the immigrants' deaths.