George Maestas, 68 of Green River, appeared before Circuit Court Judge John Prokos for two counts of Aggravated Homicide by Vehicle and one count of Driving While Under a Controlled Substance Causing Serious Bodily Injury.
Judge Prokos set bond at $1 million cash or commercial surety and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Monday, March 20th at 2:30 p.m. A public defender has been appointed to represent Maestas.
Maestas is charged in the death of Debra Devries and one-year-old Stella Doak. Both died from injuries sustained when a 2005 Mazda SUV, allegedly driven by Maestas, drove into the living room of a residence at 695 Evers in Green River.
Maestas is also charged for injuring Frank Johnson in the same incident. According to court documents, Johnson suffered broken ribs, a fractured vertebrae, and a punctured/collapsed lung.
Sweetwater county Attorney Daniel Erramouspe told Judge Prokos that Maestas has an extensive criminal record with three felonies and at least two Interference with Peace Officer charges. His record included multiple alcohol and drug related arrests and spanned the entirety of Maestas’ adult life.
“The charges he’s facing now are tantamount to a life sentence for him, considering his age,” said Erramouspe.
Each Vehicular Homicide Charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. The charge of Driving While Under a Controlled Substance Causing Serious Bodily Injury carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Erramouspe also argued that Maestas poses a great risk to the community based on the nature of the charges and circumstances surrounding the incident.
“If you’re not safe in your own living room, then you’re not safe anywhere,” Erramoupse said.
Maestas told Judge Prokos he has lived in Sweetwater County his entire life and has never attempted to run from the law.
Prokos set bond at $1 million cash or commercial surety, citing the criminal history and the nature of the charges.
“I find, quite frankly, the aggravators far outweigh the mitigators today,” said Prokos.
About This Case
Officers from the Green River Police Department were dispatched to 695 Evers in Green River at abou 10:11 a.m. on Friday, March 10, 2017 for the call of a vehicle which drove into the residence.
Upon arrival, an officer observed Maestas walking from the driver’s side of the SUV and onto Evers Street, according to court document. Maestas then walked east and turned around the corner of Monroe. At that time, the officer brought Maestas back to the yard. Maestas allegedly seemed disoriented and made statements like “I was driving” and “I need to go get help.” Court documents say Maestas appeared unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and blood shot eyes, and was unable to remember his own address.
The officer did not smell alcohol on Maestas’ breath and believed he may be under the influence of something other than alcohol, and a Drug Recognition Expert conducted an evaluation.
During the evaluation, Maestas allegedly said he had consumed a Lortab pill which was given to him by a friend at Embassy Bar at about 2 a.m. He told officers he took a shot of Nyquil around 3 or 4 a.m.
Maestas told the expert that he did not remember driving after he made the right turn from Hitching Post onto Monroe.