Out on bond, Hutto man charged in 2016 racing death charged with DWI


GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — At last report, the man charged in the suspected racing death of a Round Rock woman last year is back in Williamson County Jail after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated on bond.

Hernan Abel Martinez, 23, of Hutto, was booked into the jail Wednesday after appearing in court. During the court proceeding, prosecutors moved to increase Martinez’s bond after learning he was arrested by Austin police on Oct. 18 and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was released on bond the next day.

However, this week after learning about his latest arrest, a judge in Williamson County increased Martinez’s total bond to $200,000 and Martinez was taken into custody immediately.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Joan and Robert Chaney were driving home from the grocery store on Farm to Market 1325 in Round Rock. DPS troopers say the Hutto man was in his Lexus racing another vehicle on FM 1325 when he struck the couple’s Mercury Grand Marquis at the intersection of Northridge Road. The impact caused the Marquis to split in half and hit a parked Ford Mustang nearby.

Joan Chaney, 68, was in the passenger seat of the Marquis 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.

“Ultimately, I hope justice gets served. There’s two people who are no longer alive because someone’s recklessness,” said Robert Chaney, Jr., one of the couple’s adult children. “I never understood why they didn’t keep him in jail anyway or make the bond higher to begin with.”

Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick says he was shocked to find out about Martinez’s DWI arrest.

“Anytime someone’s charged with the death of another individual, you would hope and expect that their behavior is perfect while they’re awaiting court and while they’re awaiting trial. It doesn’t always happen,” said Dick, adding that racing is unacceptable in the community.

The DA says Martinez has been indicted related to four charges — all of which are tied to the December crash. Those charges include:

  1. Racing causing the death of an individual
  2. Racing causing serious bodily injury
  3. Manslaughter, and
  4. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Martinez’s bond has been set at $50,000 on each of the above counts.

The suspect is scheduled for a bond hearing on Nov. 15 at which time the judge could decide to update his bond conditions.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

More Austin-Travis County News

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

More Coronavirus Live Blogs

Trending Stories

Don't Miss