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Mother of 19 year old killed by drunk driver speaks out

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jan 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-02 14:11:29-05

The man police say is responsible for killing a 19 year old girl -- Gisela Puerta -- in a car accident while he was drunk is under house arrest, instead of spending time behind bars.

43 year old Philipe Antonio de la Rosa spent the two months since the crash in the hospital, and appeared in video court Thursday night, where he was released on house arrest after a misunderstanding between the judge and the county's pre-trial services. This decision, causing Puerta's mother Shannon to lose faith in the justice system.

"I'm very outraged. I have no trust," she said. "No trust and no faith in our justice system. None."

She feels as if the players involved were a bit different, this outcome wouldn't have happened.

"If this was, you know, a politican's child or a law enforcement person's child," she said. "This wouldn't even be a question."

De la Rosa is paralyzed from the waist down, according to a representative at the Pima County Jail. They say the reason he was released stemmed from a miscommunication between the judge and pre-trial services, regarding painkiller medications he was going to be prescribed. The jail does not allow narcotic painkillers and has an alternative form.

Nevertheless, Puerta is devastated he gets to be home.

"Here you go, go hang out with your family until trial. Go home to the comforts of your home until, you know," Puerta said. "But my daughter, she doesn't get to come home. I have a petition going to put him back in jail. I don't know what good that'll do, but I feel like I need to do something."

She plans on showing up at the jail Monday morning, looking for answers. 

"If my daughter was here and this happened to me, my daughter would be more fierce than I am. I guarantee you that," Puerta said. "So, I know how she would fight for me. So I owe it to my baby girl to fight for her, and I will fight to the day I die for my daughter."

De la Rosa's next court date is on January 18.