SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) — Just four days into the trial, Darwood Kellett of Irving was found guilty in the death of 23-year-old Leslie Mercado.
“My heart really sinks every time I walk past Angels of Care, I relive that scene daily and it will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Leslie’s sister Gilda Hernandez.
Hernandez shared with News 12, the letter she hoped to read to the jury, “my sister will never know what it’s like to have her own children with the man she loved dearly.”
Leslie’s husband, Javier Mercado, shed tears after the verdict was read, “she was a beautiful, happy wife”.
On Jan. 20, 2021, Kellett hit Leslie with his tractor-trailer, “driving north on Highway 75, driving a tractor-trailer loaded with over 40,000 pounds of cargo,” the assistant county prosecutor said. Grayson, Don Hoover.
Sherman police say Kellett was stoned and fell asleep at the wheel.
“Verred off the freeway through the median, through a bar ditch, over the service road, into the Angels of Care parking lot in South Sherman,” Hoover added.
Around 9 a.m., Leslie Mercado went to work to start her day at Angels of Care, where she worked with her sister.
“I see Leslie in a pool of blood, thrown on the floor, lying there, she wasn’t answering, I tried to call her name to see if maybe she could hear me, I tried to screaming, she wasn’t responding, she just wasn’t there anymore,” Hernandez recalled.
The jury on Thursday found Kellett guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, with the maximum charge of 20 years and possession of a controlled substance, also with the maximum sentence of 10 years.
“You’re driving a deadly 80,000 pound weapon on one of the hardest drugs, the most addictive drugs known to man, you’re dangerous now,” Hoover said.
Although the court case has been settled, their family will never be the same again.
Hernandez said, “because what I witnessed was heartbreaking and something I will remember until the day I die.”
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