When a woman got drunk and plowed into a little league field, she ended up hitting a respected principal who lost both of his legs as a result. Luckily for her, she got a plea deal. On the day of her court hearing, however, she stumbled in hours late. Her next despicable move would have the judge immediately teaching her a lesson she won’t forget anytime soon.
Marilyn Aguilera of Miami-Dade, Florida, doesn’t make good decisions. Choosing to drive drunk with a blood alcohol level (BAL) that would later be determined to be three times the legal limit, Aguilera wrecked more lives than just her own — literally. Sadly, the grossly intoxicated woman crashed at the worst imaginable place when she plowed into a baseball field during a little-league championship game.
Aguilera struck a dad who was coaching his five-year-old son’s team. That dad was Javier Perez, who also happened to be a 44-year-old high school principal. When police arrived, they not only found Aguilera’s BAL to be three times the legal limit, but she had an open beer as well. The 52-year-old mother was arrested for drunk driving and faced stiff penalties after the injuries she caused an innocent man.
As a result of the accident, Javier Perez, who was not only a husband and a father, but also a coach, popular principal, and productive member of society, lost both of his legs. And, his road to recovery was long and hard. Enduring 20 surgeries and more than 100 transfusions, he hopes to walk again one day with the help of prosthetic limbs. What’s more, he just wanted to put the whole incident behind him so that he could move forward. But, Aguilera would ruin that for him too.
Perez, who’s become an inspiration, noted that he had compassion for the woman who caused such upheaval and pain in his life. He simply wanted closure for the incident. That’s why Aguilera was offered a plea deal after committing such a heinous crime — it was a plea deal her own victim was behind.
Under the deal offered by the state, she would be charged with three counts of DUI and serve four years in prison, one year of house arrest, and two years of probation. One would think that she’d feel blessed to have caught such a break, but instead, Aguilera took it all for granted when she showed up to court late and completely incoherent.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diane Ward was rightfully infuriated after Aguilera showed up hours late for court, then cried and begged to be let off early. But, shockingly, her behavior got even worse. With Perez present for the hearing, in which the defendant was supposed to accept the deal, Aguilera complained that her mother, who is in a wheelchair, needs her. This, after walking in hours late, incoherent and on medication, and after bawling and begging the judge for early release from prison.
“It’s just, I’m more concerned about Mom, who is wheelchair-bound as well,” Aguilera said while standing in front of the man she sentenced to a wheelchair when she chose to drive drunk. You can imagine the outrage Judge Ward must have felt to see such a lack of accountability in her courtroom. Aguilera obviously didn’t fully accept responsibility for what she had done. She had learned nothing from the ordeal. So, Judge Ward decided to teach her a lesson.
Furious, the judge hit Aguilera with a brutal reply to her inconsiderate remarks. “Well, it seems like there’s many people that are now wheelchair-bound,” Judge Ward shot back, but that’s not all the judge did. The angered judge also took the plea deal off the table, saying she wasn’t going to accept it, forcing the woman to face trial instead.
Setting a future trial date, the judge also told Aguilera to “act like a grown-up.” After her courtroom shenanigans, the drunk-driving mom, who claims to suffer from bipolar disorder, was facing up to seven years in prison rather than the four years offered by the plea.
There’s a lesson for the rest of us to learn here as well. First is the most obvious: Don’t drive drunk. However, if you do find yourself in hot water and going to court to face a judge, it’s a good rule of thumb not to make the judge angry. This is especially true if you’ve been lucky enough to get a plea deal. And, there isn’t much that will infuriate a judge faster than a blatant lack of accountability. Be responsible for your decisions and your mistakes. Behaving like a petulant child isn’t going to score you any points.