Pedro Damion Puga (born October 17, 2001 in Bryan, Texas) is a Hispanic American man who struck 19-year-old Texas A&M veterinary student Carlynn Nicole "Carly" Beatty as she walked with her friends along a sidewalk, while Puga was driving drunk and high on Xanax and cocaine on September 14, 2019 in College Station, Texas, then pulled into a parking lot to inspect the damage to his car, drove away and evaded arrest on foot upon being found. When officers asked him why he ran, he told them he doesn't deal with the laws and that he would have outrun them if he hadn't taken Xanax and cocaine earlier. While in the police car, he refused to tell officers his name after they asked him at least ten times, then started banging on the glass and threatened to "break this fucking window." Beatty went into a coma and suffered a shattered pelvis, brain injury, multiple strokes, and the amputation of her right leg before she died. She also suffered multiple fractures and internal bleeding and went through four surgeries. In addition to manslaughter, evading arrest, and leaving the scene of an accident involving death, Puga is also charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon, tampering with evidence and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana (the last charge is from an arrest on July 13, 2019, and he was on probation for burglary of a motor vehicle at the time of his arrest on the possession charge). He has been in the Brazos County Detention Center since September 20, 2019, and faces up to twenty years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice if convicted of manslaughter or leaving the scene of an accident, two second degree felonies, and up to ten years for tampering with evidence, a third degree felony. The evading and unlawful carrying charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in county jail, and the possession charge is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days. The maximum fine for each felony is $10,000, and the maximum fine for Class A and B misdemeanors are $4,000 and $2,000, respectively. If convicted on multiple counts, the sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time. Upon conviction, he has the right to decide whether punishment will be imposed by the judge or jury.
In addition, the prosecution has alleged that during his commission of manslaughter, he used or exhibited a deadly weapon (a motor vehicle), which in the manner of its use or intended use was capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. This means that if convicted of manslaughter and an affirmative finding of a deadly weapon is made by the judge during sentencing, he cannot receive probation and will receive a prison sentence ranging from two to twenty years. He would have to serve the greater of two years or half of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. If denied parole, he will be reconsidered for release at any time not less than one year and not more than five years from the date of each denial (if there is no deadly weapon finding, he will be reconsidered annually), as determined by the parole board, but if his maximum expiration date is within five years of the denial, he can be ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence behind bars. If sentenced by the jury and an affirmative finding of a deadly weapon is made, he will be eligible for probation, but if he is sentenced to prison, the same rules apply as if the affirmative finding was made by a judge. If sentenced to prison, he cannot receive less than two years, regardless of whether or not there has been a deadly weapon finding. If convicted of a felony and sentenced to probation (which is extremely unlikely if convicted of manslaughter or leaving the scene of an accident), he will receive anywhere from two to ten years in prison (he cannot receive probation for a charge if sentenced to more than ten years in prison for that charge), which will be suspended for a number of years within the same range (he cannot receive less than two years or more than ten years probation). If he is placed on probation, he can be required to perform up to 800 hours of community service if on probation for a second degree felony and up to 600 hours for a third degree felony. He can also be required to serve up to 180 days in county jail or be placed in a substance abuse felony punishment facility (SAFPF) located in a state prison for approximately nine months as a condition of probation. Other conditions of probation may include not having contact with Beatty's family, obtaining a GED (he has a ninth grade education), being placed on a mental health caseload (he was diagnosed with a mental health disorder as a child and started screaming when he was told that Beatty might die, possibly indicating remorse), and wearing an alcohol monitoring bracelet. If his probation is revoked, he can receive his original sentence or any number of years not less than two. If convicted of manslaughter or leaving the scene of an accident, his license will be suspended for one year, and if convicted of possession of marijuana, his license will be suspended for 180 days with the requirement to complete a fifteen hour drug offender education program before it is reinstated.
His bond was originally set at $352,000, but at a bond reduction hearing on January 22, 2020, at which his court-appointed attorney said that his bond was excessive for the charges and that his client was being forced to pay for his past, his mother stated that if he was released, she would be more strict with him and pay attention to who he hangs out with, and that he would follow the rules this time because a death occurred, his prosecutor claimed that it would be "reckless to the point of being irresponsible" to reduce Puga's bond and subject the community to him and that he remained disrespectful to those in authority, one of his former probation officers said that based on her history with him, he cannot be trusted to show up to court, and the judge reprimanded him to stop talking, it was reduced to $168,000 (remained at $100,000 for leaving the scene of an accident (indicted on December 9, 2019), reduced from $125,000 to $25,000 for tampering with evidence (indicted on December 9, 2019), reduced from $125,000 to $25,000 for unlawful carrying of a weapon (information (misdemeanor indictment) filed on October 10, 2019), set at $12,000 for an unindicted charge of intoxication assault (the third degree felony of causing serious bodily injury due to driving while intoxicated, charge was replaced after being indicted for manslaughter on June 5, 2020, but no additional bond has been set for the manslaughter charge), set at $4,000 for evading arrest (information filed on October 1, 2019), and remained at $2,000 for the possession charge that he was on bond for at the time of the crash (information filed on July 26, 2019)) with strict conditions, including a 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, drug and alcohol testing, weekly reporting to a supervision officer, and GPS monitoring if he were to be released. He would need to pay a bond company ten percent, or $16,800, to be released.
Since his arrest, he has committed disciplinary infractions on at least 31 separate days from October 11, 2019 to August 19, 2021 while in custody (10/11/19, 11/19/19, 12/3/19, 12/4/19, 12/10/19, 12/12/19, 12/14/19, 1/29/20, 4/9/20, 4/14/20, 5/3/20, 5/26/20, 5/30/20, 6/2/20, 6/9/20, 6/10/20, 7/1/20, 7/16/20, 9/13/20, 11/1/20, 12/28/20, 1/26/21, 1/28/21, 2/15/21, 2/16/21, 4/20/21, 5/10/21, 6/16/21, 6/17/21, 8/15/21, 8/19/21). He also has a substantial juvenile record, including a charge of burglary of a habitation when he was thirteen, a juvenile adjudication for burglary of a motor vehicle on June 19, 2019 (he was also charged with tampering with evidence from the same case, making it at least his second felony charge prior to the crash (he has a previous charge for possession of a controlled substance (if it was a substance listed in penalty group 1, 1-A or 2, it is at least a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail or up to a year in county jail), but it is uncertain whether it was a felony), but the charge was dismissed), and multiple violations of probation, although he has no prior felony convictions or juvenile adjudications for a felony. If convicted, the prosecution plans to present evidence of these offenses at the punishment phase of trial. His trial is scheduled to begin on November 8, 2021, and if convicted of manslaughter or leaving the scene of an accident, it is very likely that he will receive a lengthy prison sentence.