For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372
ALBUQUERQUE — Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the guilty plea of Bernadette Etsitty for DWI-based vehicular homicide. Etsitty will be sentenced by the district court at a later date. She faces up to 12 years in prison at initial sentencing.
“It is appalling that another promising young life has been senselessly lost to a drunk driver, and our State must continue to do a better job of preventing the devastating effects of drunk driving,” said Attorney General Balderas.
On the evening of June 23, 2020, Etsitty drove drunk, swerving into oncoming traffic and crashing into a vehicle driven by 18-year-old Roxana Saenz. Saenz was killed instantly. Saenz had just graduated from Del Norte High School and was planning on attending the University of New Mexico to become a veterinarian. Etsitty admitted drinking a 12-pack of beer and containers of alcohol were found in her truck. Her blood-alcohol results revealed an intoxication level at about twice the legal limit.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Police Department and co-prosecuted by attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General and the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Maria Madrid with the Office of the Attorney General provided victim-advocate services to Roxana’s family.