Man gets 8 years in drunken driving death case

Valleros, 20, wept, apologized for killing friend in Feb. 2011

 UPDATED 10:46 PM HST Dec 11, 2012
HONOLULU -

An emotional hearing in court Tuesday where a young man accused of killing a friend while driving drunk learned his sentence.

Kyer Valleros, 20, wept in court, apologizing for causing the deadly crash on the H-1 Freeway that killed his passenger and friend, Ervin Yanuaria, 20, in February of last year.

"I take full responsibility for my behavior.  I know this is my big mistake," said Valleros.

Yanuaria's mother described how his death has devastated their family.

"I just feel like I’m going crazy, because he’s my first born," said Gemma Yanuaria.

In October, Valleros pleaded no contest to manslaughter and assault.  The state said his blood alcohol level content was twice the legal limit and police estimate the van he was driving was going 90 mph when it hit the embankment.

"This is a tragic accident for everyone, but it is not a case of manslaughter," said Joseph Lee, Valleros' attorney.

Lee asked for probation for his client, who he said has no prior record.

Co-workers at Mililani Mortuary testified Valleros was a responsible employee.  But, the prosecutor painted a much different picture of the young man.

"In the (pre-trial) report, there’s no mention of contrition or remorse nor an acknowledgement of the devastating result that his reckless conduct has wreaked on this family," said deputy prosecutor Scott Bell.

The prosecutor also told the judge how Valleros was pulled over for driving drunk on Farrington Highway just last month.

With all things taken into account, Judge Rom Trader handed down an 8-year sentence, stressing the tragedy was completely avoidable.

"As a result of that, you gambled with your life and the life of all the others and in this particular case, Ervin lost," said Trader.

The paroling authority will decide on exactly how many years Valleros will have to serve before being eligible for parole.

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