Man convicted of New Year’s Eve fatal DUI crash sentenced to prison

Adrian J. Martinez
Adrian J. Martinez(Douglas County Sheriff’s Office)
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 2:39 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The man convicted of killing another in a New Year’s Eve drunk-driving crash has been sentenced to just over 9 years in prison.

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez announced on Wednesday, March 22, that Adrian J. Martinez, 39, of Lawrence, has been sentenced to 109 months - just over 9 years - in prison for involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and aggravated battery while driving under the influence.

The sentence follows a 2022 New Year’s Day crash that killed a 20-year-old man from Lawrence.

Judge Amy Hanley said she sentenced Martinez - who accepted a plea deal in January - to 75 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for involuntary manslaughter-DUI and 34 months for aggravated battery-DUI. Upon his release, he will serve 36 months of post-release supervision.

DA Valdez noted that the charges stemmed from an incident that happened just after midnight in the 2500 block of W. 6th St. on Jan. 1, 2022. Martinez was the only occupant of the vehicle headed west when he crossed the center line going about 20 miles over the posted speed limit. He then hit an eastbound vehicle with three people inside.

Valdez indicated that two of the occupants of the other vehicle survived with serious injuries, however the third, James Henderson Jr., died as a result of his injuries.

“As we heard at sentencing, countless lives have been negatively impacted by one terrible and completely avoidable decision,” District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said. “Those who choose to drive drunk must be held accountable for the pain they cause.”

The DA said the State was represented by Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden and investigated by the Accident Investigation Unit of the Lawrence Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation.