A drunk driver, whose Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was more than twice the legal limit when he killed two people and injured a third, was given 18 months probation.

He was convicted of a misdemeanor, driving while intoxicated – having spent just five days in jail.

“It is tearing me up because they are telling me my brother’s life did not matter and that boy mattered. He mattered not just to me but to my family,” Waldean Cameron said.

Cameron’s little brother, Walter McMahon, was walking along Rankin Road in north Harris County with his friend, Shane Bailey, and Bailey’s girlfriend when they were hit by a drunk driver, Bisionetta Sams, on May 19. McMahon and Bailey were killed, and Bailey’s girlfriend was severely injured and hospitalized.

“The pain is so intense, I don’t even know how to describe it. It literally takes my breath from me,” Cameron told reporters earlier this year.

She said her brother and his friends were homeless and walking from a bus stop to a motel along Rankin Road – an area that does not have sidewalks or a shoulder. Drainage ditches make it impossible to walk alongside the road, forcing pedestrians into the street.

The area was the center of an investigation on infrastructure and equity last month after seeing how many pedestrians were killed along that path.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Michael Hanover, of HCDAO’s Vehicular Crimes Division, explained how that also meant they were not comfortable pursuing stronger charges, such as intoxication manslaughter.

“We cannot say that, but for him being intoxicated, he would have struck them,” he said. “That (law enforcement) were able to determine that the pedestrians’ failure to yield the right of way as opposed to the defendant’s intoxication is a cause here.”

Hanover said the maximum punishment for misdemeanor DWI is two years probation, referring to Sams’ 18-month sentence as “unusually high to the top end of the punishment range.”

“It goes back to the families because this is an awful thing, and of course, we’re human too. We feel that as we evaluate the evidence we have, we are put in a position where we have got to stay true to the evidence and stay unbiased, and that evaluation of the evidence is what has led us here.” Hanover said.

Sams’ attorney, Randy Schaffer, added that the group was walking on “the wrong side of the road.”

Bailey did have a flashlight; however, investigators determined, “That whatever light that might have been generated from a flashlight in a rear pocket (was) blocked by the two people walking behind him.”

Schaffer offered the following legal example, “You can have just an intersection collision where the guy is stone-cold drunk, and the other guy runs the red light, and he hits the guy that ran the red light. He’s stone-cold drunk. The other guy’s sober. They can’t do anything other than a DWI because his intoxication didn’t cause the collision. It was the fault of the other driver.”

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