WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Boca Raton man has pleaded guilty to killing a Hialeah woman in a drunken high-speed crash in Palm Beach County in 2013.
Mark Schneider, 26, agreed to a plea deal Thursday to avoid trial.
Palm Beach County court records show that Schneider pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the Sept. 29, 2013 crash that killed Carol Velasco, 52. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a DUI manslaughter count.
Palm Beach County Judge Cheryl Caracuzzo sentenced Schneider to 15 years in prison, but if he surrenders in court on Jan. 8 as agreed upon without any new arrests or violations, his sentence will be trimmed to just four years in prison.
Schneider's license will also be suspended for five years.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report, Schneider was driving west on Palmetto Park Road near Toledo Road in his 2010 Hyundai Genesis when it crashed into the 2010 Hyundai Accent that Velasco was driving.
Deputies said Schneider was driving between 95 mph and 103 mph when his car slammed into Velasco's car, killing her.
"It was obvious to me that he had been drinking and may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs," the arresting deputy wrote in his report. "He had red watery eyes, an odor of an alcohol-type beverage emanating from him, and his emotions were aggressive one minute and laughing the next."
A blood test revealed that Schneider had .179 and .178 grams of ethanol in his bloodstream, above the state legal limit of .08 percent. He also had marijuana in his system.
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