Jenny Mate sentenced to 20 years

Jenny Mate

A woman convicted of running down two men on an Adelphi road will spend 20 years behind bars.

A judge sentenced Jenny Mate Tuesday morning. Mate was convicted by a Prince George's County jury of vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. Prosecutors said she killed Roy Lacayo and Justo Rosaria in February 2010.

Both men killed in the crash were young fathers. Roy Lacayo would have been 35 years old now. His widow Christie says his 5 children meant the world to him.

“He was a wonderful husband he was a family man,” she said.

Justo Rosario would have been 31. His sister Angela says he too was all about family. “He tried to help everybody he could especially friends and family and he will be missed,” she said.

The men were strangers to each other until the night of February 1, 2010, when they had a minor fender bender. They exchanged insurance information on the side of the road and realized they had mutual friends.

Before they were able to finish their conversation, Mate sideswiped one of the cars. She was significantly exceeding the posted speed limit, traveling 60 miles an hour before she crashed into the other vehicle with her 2005 Cadillac SRX. One of the victims was dragged under the Cadillac until Mate came to a stop. Mate's blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit in this incident, police said.

Both men died instantly.

The judge said the crash wasn't an accident because Mate had two past convictions for drunk driving. Her license was suspended at the time of wreck.

Mate appeared in court Tuesday for her sentencing. The judge gave her the maximum punishment. Mate said, "words cannot express the sorrow I feel."

Mate apologized to the families and asked for compassion since she is now seven months pregnant with her second child. Roy Lacayo’s widow said given the previous convictions, she hopes Mate will learn this time.

“To keep doing it over and over again it has to stop eventually hopefully it’ll stop now, hopefully for good. So she won’t make any more mistakes like this or take any more lives,” Christie Lacayo said.

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