Hutto man gets 8 years in prison for deadly racing crash


GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A Hutto man who killed a woman while he was racing another vehicle on Farm to Market Road 1325 in Round Rock in 2016 pleaded guilty to the charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a plea deal. 

Court records show the plea deal for Hernan Abel Martinez, 24, was signed Wednesday. The victim’s family tells KXAN the plea deal was offered in exchange for information about the other driver Martinez was racing. Martinez will spend eight years in prison. Since he was in the Williamson County Jail for almost a year, he will receive 268 days for time served. 

“Because all this time, everyone knew that there was another driver, but nobody knew who he was. Nobody had any information of the other driver. It hadn’t been known until today,” said Pam Waters, the victims’ daughter. The family says Martinez knew the other driver from high school.

Joan Chaney (Courtesy/Pam Waters)

On Dec. 14, 2016, Joan and Robert Chaney were driving home from the grocery store in Round Rock when Martinez struck the couple’s vehicle at the intersection of Northridge Road. Authorities say Martinez was racing another vehicle. The impact caused the couple’s vehicle to split in half and hit a parked Ford Mustang nearby.

Joan Chaney, 68, was in the passenger seat of the vehicle and died on impact. Her husband, Robert, who was driving the car, was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he spent several weeks recovering. A couple of weeks later, he died in his sleep due to heart failure.

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