In an unusual legal move, a warrant has been issued for Texas bar patron who allegedly provided drinks to a woman who was subsequently in a fatal car crash that killed two teenagers.
Nicole Baukus, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of intoxication after she drove her car on the wrong side of I-45 in 2012, ABC Affiliate KHOU reported. Security video showed Baukus consuming 17 shots and four beers in five hours at a bar called On the Rox in Spring, Texas, before she drove that night, KHOU reported.
She collided with a car, killing Travis Saunders, 18, and Nicole Adams, 19, and critically injuring David Porras, who is now 23. She was sentenced Aug. 2 to 38 years in prison.
The same day she was sentenced, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, who prosecuted the case against Baukus, issued a warrant for Kambiz Michael Duran, 29, said Andrew James, the Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney.
James said Baukus stopped buying drinks at midnight but still managed to consume an additional 10 drinks. According to media reports, the bar where Baukus was drinking reached a $1 million settlement with the surviving victim and the estates of the other victims.
Baukus took the stand during the punishment phase, KHOU reported, testifying she considered suicide. "I don't deserve to be here. I should have died in that crash also," Baukus said. "They did not deserve to die. I did. They were innocent."
According to KHOU, agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had been trying to figure out who had given her those final drinks. James said Duran, a patron at the bar, bought Baukus three shots within 10 minutes.
Other people may have bought Baukus drinks, said James, but there are no plans to charge them.
"Their conduct is not as obvious as what [Duran] was doing," he said.
Duran is being charged under a section of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Act which deals with the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person, James said. The prosecution is maintaining he was a party in the sale of alcohol because Baukus was so intoxicated.
James would not expand on the charge, but noted that the prosecution is "charting new legal ground."
Under the charge, Duran can be held for up to a year in jail, James said.
A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on laws prohibiting alcohol sales to intoxicated persons explains that Texas has a "criminal negligence" standard, meaning that there needs to be evidence that the server was aware of intoxication levels.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission declined to provide a comment.
Duran is already serving time in jail. Records show he was booked into the Harris County Jail on July 24 for possession of marijuana and is supposed to serve 180 days for those charges.
He will not be issued a court date until he has finished serving his current sentence, said James.
Duran's family declined to comment.