(AP) Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a man who took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to confess his guilt in a deadly automobile accident.
In the ad in the Jan. 26 edition of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Regino Salinas confessed he was talking on his cell phone and drove through a red light, causing the Jan. 11 collision that killed two people. “I allowed myself to be distracted and I didn’t give my driving all the attention it deserved,” he wrote, urging other drivers not to make the same mistake.
A man and his 68-year-old father died in the crash. The man’s mother was injured.
The Nueces County district attorney’s office initially rejected the case for lack of evidence, but the ad revived it, prosecutor Carlos Valdez told The Associated Press Friday.
“My jaw just dropped when I was reading the Sunday paper and saw this … which amounted to basically a confession,” Valdez said.
A grand jury indicted Salinas Thursday on two counts of criminally negligent homicide, which carry a maximum possible penalty of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Salinas’ attorney, Lamar Clemons, called the indictment a “travesty.” He said the ad was part of an out-of-court settlement the victims’ family had reached with his client and his employer, L.O. Construction.
“I don’t think anybody even remotely considered that would happen,” he said in Friday’s editions of the Caller-Times.
Clemons said the ad didn’t reveal any new information on the collision and that Salinas told investigators months ago he was on the cell phone when it occurred.