Bond lowered for wrong-way driver

By Samantha Smith

A Hays County courtroom resembled a scene from “Law and Order” Thursday when Judge Jack Robison lowered the bond of Wilson Rene Molinares,  who is charged with four counts of manslaughter. 

Molinares, who is a 22-year-old Texas State student, had his bond reduced from $250,000 per charge to $175,000 per charge. 

Molinares, who was not present before Judge Robison arrived, was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair wearing an eye patch over his left eye and a wrist brace on his left wrist. 

Approximately a dozen people were in attendance and seated behind the defense in support of Molinares. Their expressions were concerned, but calm except for Molinares’ sister Allison, who was wiping away a continuous stream of tears.

Molinares was arrested on four charges of manslaughter after driving the wrong way down Interstate 35 at 1 a.m. Feb. 19. Molinares’ vehicle crashed head-on into a Ford Windstar, killing four of the six passengers inside. 

Molinares’ attorney presented evidence and testimony to support the request to reduce bond to $25,000 per charge due to the extensive injuries sustained by Molinares during the accident. 

Molinares’ mother, Marta Hernandez, testified on the extent of her son’s injuries as well as the financial inability of the family to pay the $1 million bond.

Hernandez also extended a statement toward the families of the four victims who lost their lives during the accident. 

“If there is anybody here from that other family you can be sure that there is not one day that we don’t think about you guys,” Hernandez said in her statement. “There is not one day that I pray for my son and for his health that I don’t pray for those other families that were affected.” 

Hernandez went on to say Molinares was the head of the family, and asked for forgiveness. 

“I just hope one day we can sit together and cry and pray together with that other family and those other families that were affected because it’s not only Wilson and it’s not only me, there were many families affected by this,” she said.

Prosecuting for the state was District Attorney Wes Mau, whose only witness was Kyle Police Department Lt. Andre Marmolejo, who was involved in the investigation and subsequent arrest of Molinares. 

Marmolejo testified as to whether or not alcohol was involved in the incident as well as the severity of the accident resulting in four deaths.

Marmolejo said the department subpoenaed Molinares’ medical records from University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. The records showed Molinares had a blood alcohol content of .207 when his blood was drawn 30 to 45 minutes after the wreck. 

“Sometime after that, a separate sample was drawn and sent to DPS for analysis and it came back with a BAC level of .106, approximately 4 hours after the first blood draw,” Marmolejo said. 

Mau said Molinares was on probation at the time of the incident for a possession of marijuana charge, which stipulated that he was not to consume alcohol.

In closing arguments, Mau reiterated to the court that Molinares bond should not be lowered simply to make it possible for him to make bond, but to consider his “clear and present danger” to the public if he is released. 

After deliberating in chambers for 22 minutes, Robison lowered Molinares’ bond to $175,000 per charge while also stipulating that he surrender his driver’s license and passport, if he has one. 

Molinares must wear an electronic monitoring device with GPS and a device to test for alcohol in the blood on a constant basis, and also report to probation as directed, as stipulated by Robison. 

Molinares’ mother kept her composure throughout the ruling but was visibly upset and crying after her son was removed from the courtroom.

Robison also stipulated that if Molinares were released on bond and moved to live in Frisco, TX with his mother and family friends, the case would have to be transferred in its entirety to Collin County.

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