Fred Funderburgh and his family laid tear-filled eyes on Rudolfo Campuzano for the first time in a Bastrop County courtroom on Wednesday morning. An end to a long and difficult journey.
Last June, the Texas Department of Public Safety told FOX 7 Fred's 45-year-old son Billy Funderburgh and his 38-year-old wife Natalee were heading back to Bastrop from Elgin on their Harley when Campuzano hit them from behind...killing them both. DPS told us at the time the driver left the scene but they tracked him down and gave him a sobriety test which he failed.
Bastrop Co. District Attorney Bryan Goertz says after being charged with intoxication manslaughter Campuzano was released on a personal bond. But in October they got him back and charged him with two counts of "accident involving death." Since then he's been sitting in jail with a hefty bond and an ICE hold.
Kristen Burns with the DA's office says there was a legal issue with the blood draw.
"The way that we decided to charge this offense as opposed to the manslaughter was that with an intoxication manslaughter we would have to prove intoxication as an element of the offense. But with this charge we could use the intoxication as an aggravating factor to explain why he fled the scene as opposed to an element of the crime itself," Burns said.
In court on Wednesday Campuzano admitted to drinking both at home and at a bar before the accident.
"I have no qualms or doubts about the fact that he was intoxicated. At least twice the legal limit that we know of and probably higher than that at the time of the accident," Goertz said.
In court Campuzano took a plea deal. 15 years for each count to be served concurrently.
"He's going to be gone away for quite awhile. We wish he would have gotten more time," Funderburgh said.
We spoke with Campuzano's attorney by phone who had no complaints about the plea deal.
The Funderburgh's had a friend of the family read a statement to Campuzano -- calling what he did the "actions of a coward who committed a cowardly act."
An interpretor relayed the sentiments to the Spanish-speaking Campuzano.
"There was no expression, no expression whatsoever," Funderburgh said.
Goertz says when Campuzano has served his time...he won't be sticking around.
"He will not be released back into the State of Texas, he will be deported at that time," Goertz said.
For the Funderburgh's, the pain is far from over.
"We have another son that has committed suicide because of this particular case and we're going to go get his ashes and try to deal with that, try to put everything back together. It's caused a lot of heartache and pain...rippling effect from this case," Funderburgh said.
The DA's office says they're writing a letter to place with Campuzano's TDCJ file strongly urging against letting him out on parole. They want him to serve every day of that 15 years.
As Fred Funderburgh mentioned, just a couple of weeks ago he lost one of his other sons. The family is obviously having a rough time. They have a GoFundMe page. If you would like to donate, click here.