Diana Lynne Hamby

NEW BRAUNFELS — Many months after she crashed her car into a motorcyclist and killed him, a Canyon Lake woman has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve five years in jail.

Diana Lynne Hamby, 49, admitted she was driving drunk when she killed Anthony Cortez, 57, in a crash Dec. 4, 2010, in the 9900 block of Farm-to-Market Road 2673, according to court documents filed in her second-degree felony case.

Hamby faced between two and 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In June, she pleaded guilty to intoxicated manslaughter with a deadly weapon in a deal with the Comal County District Attorney’s office, said Steven Harkins, assistant district attorney. Harkins said he and Hamby’s attorney, Atanacio Campos, settled on the terms of the agreement.

“The defense attorney and I came to the agreement that she would serve five years with the deadly weapon,” Harkins said. “That means she at least has to serve half of it before she’s parole eligible.”

He said the car was the weapon.

A receptionist in Campos’ office, who refused to give her name, said he does not talk about cases with reporters. Campos could not be reached for comment.

According to court documents, friends said at the time of the crash that Hamby was going through marital problems. She was depressed and had gone on a four-day drinking binge that ended with her crashing her Honda Accord head-on into the motorcycle Cortez was driving, court documents show.

The case file shows Hamby was driving south on Farm-to-Market Road 2673 when she crossed into the northbound lanes and hit Cortez. He flew off the bike, smashed into her windshield and landed in a ditch.

Cortez, a soft-spoken veteran who loved to roam area roads on his Harley Davidson, was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency workers cut Hamby out of the car and flew her in a helicopter to a hospital.

Judge Jack Robison ordered a pre-sentence investigation after Hamby pleaded guilty. On July 17, Robison sentenced her to five years.

At the sentencing hearing, Cortez’s adult son and daughter gave statements about how their father’s death irreparably damaged their family, Harkins said. He said the daughter read her statement in court and Harkins read a letter written by the son, who was out of state.

Harkins said getting the conviction was important but the verdict is less than pleasing.

“I’m not happy with it. I’m satisfied,” he said.

On Friday a spokeswoman at Comal County Jail said Hamby remained there waiting to be transferred to the Texas Department of Corrections. She said there was no information available about when that transfer would occur.

(1) comment

carol STAREWICH

Let's see, dwi and killing someone in Comal County costs you 2.5 years after good time. Not many will stop drinking and driving based on this result.

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