Defendant involved in collision that injured LPD officer gets 10

Defendant involved in collision that injured LPD officer gets 10 years

Posted:
LUBBOCK -

UPDATE 2-15-17: 

The drunk driver who permanently disabled a Lubbock Police Officer will have at least five years in prison to think about it. Jessie Tello pleaded guilty to causing the 2015 crash, that caused Detective Cory Owens to lose a portion of his leg. 

The courtroom was standing room only as Judge Trey McClendon sentenced Jessie Tello. After a two day bench punishment trial, Judge McClendon handed down a 10 year sentence for the 21 year old.

"I think it was a just sentence, it's a fair one, it is up to mister Tello, what opportunities he take during his time and what he is going to do to his life to improve it or show that that was warranted or not," Lubbock Assistant District Attorney, Tom Brummett said. 

"On behalf of Jesse and his family, we could not be more sorry for Jesse's actions. The Judge said it best, this was a horrible tragedy that will forever affect two families. We respect the difficult decision Judge McClendon had to make in this case," Tello's attorney, Frank Sellars sent in an email.

Judge McClendon was emotional when making his remarks prior to the sentence. "It was a difficult case and that he struggled with it," McClendon said.

The Judge, referencing Sellars closing remarks, "it's true that this could be any of us, but " no one else has done what you've done and there are serious consequences for that," McClendon said. 

The max sentence for this crime, 20 years.  McClendon didn't look high or low when coming up with what he believes is an appropirate punishment.

Tello plead guilty last week to aggravated assault of a peace officer. During the punishment phase, he admitted to drinking prior to the crash on March 30, 2015, where he ran into Detective Owens police cruiser, crushing the officers leg. 

While announcing the sentence, McClendon told Tello, "Detective Owens was out that night to protect the public, and the irony of this is in protecting you, he was hurt. The irony is in protecting you, he couldve been killed."

"I think in the testimony of Officer Owens' wife Felicia, you heard her talk about when the two officers came to her door and were knocking on it and I can tell you after speaking with many wives of many officers, that is the most frightening thing that they will ever endure," Brummett said. 

With tears in her eyes, Felicia Owens looked at Tello and hold him she forgives him.

"Somebody that took her husbands leg and inflicted this on her family and where they find this wherewithal in their hearts, I don't know," Brummett said.

She also told Tello, "she hopes when the time comes for him to be released, he is a better person and father, for the sacrifices her family has made because of him."

Tello will have to serve half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. 

UPDATE:  The testimony in the sentencing hearing of 21 year old Jessie Tello began Tuesday morning. Tello had plead guilty to aggravated assault of a peace officer last week.

A long day of testimony for both sides and Judge Trey McClendon after hearing from 11 witnesses including Detective Cory Owens's and Jessie Tello. 

Prosecutors presented Tello's blood test forward that showed his BAC was .18 more than twice the legal limit. 

Owens said, "he was directing traffic at 4th and Elgin due to high water and remembers very little from the crash."

He said he pleaded with doctors to save his leg because he wanted to be able to run with his 2 young boys.

Doctors were not able to save his leg and had to amputate it from just below the knee.

Owens now has a prosthetic and said, "he and his youngest son learned how to walk, together."

He is on full duty with LPD and hopes to be cleared to return to patrol with the department soon. 

Tello, who was 19 at the time, said, "he doesn't remember crashing his vehicle into detective Cory Owens on the morning of May 30,2015."

He said he remembers "getting out of his vehicle after the crash and walking over to Detective Owens and telling him that help was on it's way."

The data pulled from Tello's car showed that he was driving more than 20 miles over the speed limit seconds before the crash.

Tello said, "he's sorry for everything that he did and if he could take it back and put it on himself, he would." 

Judge McClendon will hear closing arguments Wednesday afternoon and could sentence Tello up to 20 years in prison. 
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A Lubbock defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for his involvement in a collision that seriously injured an LPD officer.

Jesse Tello, 21, hit officer Corey Owens' parked patrol car in 2015. Owens was directing traffic in a flooded intersection. His right foot was crushed and part of his leg had to be amputated.

Tello will be sentenced Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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