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Selma woman learns fate in fatal DUI case

Saturday, May 04, 2013

A Selma woman learned how her fatal decision to drive under the influence will impact the victims' families and herself. Stephanie Soza was sentenced for driving drunk and killing two friends.

It's been almost one year since Stephanie Soza got behind the wheel for a drive that changed countless lives, including the life of Katrina Rodriguez.

"I offered to take my car," said Rodriguez. "But they said everything was going to be okay and I lost the two people that made the happiest, that made everybody else around us smile."

Zack Bardone and Josh Paramore died in Soza's car last summer when she drove off Highway 180 down a cliff near Kings Canyon National Park. The CHP says Soza had a blood alcohol content of .09.

The victims' families, full of emotion, explained to Soza what she had taken away from them.

The victim's mother, Debra Harris said, "He was a soul mate, a brother in Christ and he was my son."

Throughout the tearful testimony, Soza did not glance at the families. She was sentenced to six years and four months for the deaths of the two young men.

Zack's mother, Carey Wilson added, "But you have a chance with this time to make some choices to make your life better. My son was 19 and he's not getting any of those chances."

While the families say they found some closure from the sentencing, they were disappointed Soza did not say, I'm sorry. But out of this pain and tragedy, they are offering her forgiveness, as difficult as it may be.

Harris explained, "So as much as I may want to hate you today, god's given me mercy throughout my mistakes and he's given my son mercy throughout his. And so I pass that mercy onto you."

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Tags:
crimetracker, dui, court, selma, fresno county, fresno, kings canyon national park, local, amanda venegas
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