BOSTON, February 16, 2017—The drunk driver who crashed into another vehicle, killing 34-year-old Luz Puentes-Sheets and 44-year-old Maria Hernandez, was sentenced today following her conviction earlier this month, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
JENNIFER GUZMAN (D.O.B. 7/5/1988) waived her right to a jury trial on two counts each of manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury in connection with the 2014 collision on the Jamaicaway that claimed her passengers’ lives. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger on Feb. 6 found her guilty of two counts of motor vehicle homicide and acquitted her of additional charges of manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
At Guzman’s sentencing today, Assistant District Attorney Amy Martin recommended a term of 10 to 12 years in state prison. Judge Kenneth Salinger sentenced Guzman to two consecutive two-year terms in a house of correction, for a total of four years behind bars. Sentencing had previously been scheduled for last week but was postponed due to weather.
During the course of the trial, Martin presented evidence and testimony to prove that Guzman was behind the wheel of a 2007 BMW driving south on the Jamaicaway shortly before 3:00 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2014. The evidence proved that she was traveling at least 49 mph in a 25 mph zone when she crossed the center line and struck a 2002 Toyota Camry. Puentes-Sheets and Hernandez, who were passengers in Guzman’s vehicle and were not wearing seatbelts, were killed in the crash. Two men in the Toyota suffered injuries that were serious but not fatal.
Because the Jamaicaway is a state roadway in the city of Boston, the crash was investigated by State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office. Guzman made statements to State Police detectives indicating that she had spent several hours at a Tremont Street night club and consumed three to four mixed drinks before she left the club to drive her friends to Everett. Medical records indicate that her blood alcohol level was approximately .20, prosecutors said.
Before Guzman was sentenced, a victim impact statement written by Puentes-Sheets’ 12-year-old daughter was read in court by the girl’s father.
“I will forever miss my mother,” she wrote. “I will miss spending Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and especially Mother’s Day. I will never get the chance to celebrate any of these holidays with my mother ever again. My mom would make every holiday so special…. I only have the memories of what we shared.”
Anne Kelley-McCarthy was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Guzman was represented by Arthur Kelly.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.