Brazos County District Court Jury Convicts And Sentences Bryan Man For Intoxication Manslaughter That Took Place In May 2017

Photo of the Brazos County courthouse taken May 3, 2022.
Photo of the Brazos County courthouse taken May 3, 2022.

Photo of Ruben Martinez from
Photo of Ruben Martinez from
Five and a half years ago, a Bryan man died while driving home late at night in order to take his five year old daughter to school the next morning.

Another Bryan man has been found guilty by a Brazos County district court jury of intoxication manslaughter.

The jury sentenced 63 year old Ruben Martinez to 45 years. That is in the middle of the punishment range of five to 99 years.

According to the district attorney’s office, the results of a blood test showed an alcohol range of more than twice the legal limit at between .198 and .233. Martinez was also under the influence of cocaine and marijuana at the time of the head on crash on a Highway 6 feeder road in north Bryan.

A news release from the D-A’s office also stated an expert witness testified the amount of force involved in the collision was the highest that he had ever seen. Martinez’s truck was going 75 miles per hour just before the crash that killed Steve Williford Jr. in May of 2017.

News release from the Brazos County district attorney’s office:

Ruben Martinez, of Bryan, Texas was convicted last week of Intoxication Manslaughter the 272nd District Court jury. The same jury sentenced the defendant to 45 years in prison and made a finding that the vehicle the Defendant was driving was a deadly weapon.

On May 2, 2017, law enforcement responded to a 911 call of a crash on the frontage of Highway 6 in the northern part of Brazos County. The caller observed that Martinez was “very drunk” and smelled of alcohol.

Steve Williford, Jr., the driver of the other vehicle, was driving home late at night in order to be home to take his five-year-old daughter to school the next morning, when the defendant crossed into his
lane, striking him head on, and killing him.

Numerous individuals, including Bryan firefighters who responded to the scene as well as doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital saw signs of intoxication. The defendant also admitted to them that he drank earlier in the night as well as used cocaine and marijuana. His blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.

An expert from General Motors explained to the jury the importance of the evidence received from the “black boxes” from both the Defendant’s and Williford’s vehicles. These “black boxes” revealed that the
Defendant’s driving was erratic, with speeds of up to 75 mph just prior to the crash. Evidence from the vehicles’ “black boxes” also indicated that the Defendant caused the collision by swerving into Williford’s lane. The expert explained that the amount of force involved in the crash was the highest he had ever seen.

Department of Public Safety Troopers Jessie Jordan and Nick Krauss responded to the scene and investigated this case, ultimately arresting the Defendant for Intoxicated Manslaughter.

The Defendant had prior convictions for Driving While Intoxicated, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Larceny, and Delivery of a Controlled Substance, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Based on his prior prison sentence, Martinez faced an increased punishment range of 5-99 years in prison.

Assistant district attorneys Kristin Burns and Maritza Sifuentez-Chavarria issued the following statement: “Steven Williford Jr. was a bright light of love to his friends, family, and especially his young daughter. No family should suffer the loss of a loved one due to the selfish choices of a drunk driver. We are thankful for the jury’s verdict in this case.”