Austin DA Criticized for Releasing Man Charged with 7th DUI, Double Fatality

The decision of Austin’s progressive District Attorney to reduce charges and bond for a man accused of killing two people while driving under the influence for the seventh time has sparked outrage in the community. Roberto Rangel, 52, was released from custody after his $100,000 bond was reduced to $10,000, and a DWI charge was leveled against him a few months after his arrest, despite his previous DUI convictions.

The incident that led to Rangel’s arrest involved the deaths of 22-year-old Kate Garcia and 23-year-old Mark Narvaez. Rangel was reportedly so drunk that he could not take a sobriety test at the scene, and his car was parked haphazardly in the road, resulting in a fatal collision with a motorcycle.

Austin locals, including the victims’ families, are upset by Rangel’s release. They argue that the District Attorney’s decision is a blatant disregard for public safety. Prominent Republican figures, including Austin criminal defense attorney Daniel Betts and Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak, have joined the criticism.

DA Garza and his policies have previously faced backlash, including for an incident last year when a man who confessed to causing a deadly crash while driving drunk was only sentenced to 10 days in jail. Furthermore, an anonymous Austin Police officer revealed that these types of scenarios are common and particularly frustrating for the enforcement side of the law.

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