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Bond reduction denied for Harbor Bridge wrong-way driver Roxanne Palacios

One of the reasons the judge denied the reduction was because of community safety.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Judge Carlos Valdez refused to lower Roxanne Palacios' $600,000 bond Monday. 

The woman accused of causing a fatal wrong-way crash while intoxicated on the Harbor Bridge on Nov. 2 appeared before Valdez in a Zoom hearing.

Palacios has been in jail since being released from a local hospital after the accident, and said she has been unable to afford the two $250,000 intoxication manslaughter bonds and one $100,000 intoxication assault bond. 

Her lawyer Laura Ramos argued that Palacios' bond should be reduced to between $25,000-$35,000 on each count because her 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter have struggled since their mother's accident and incarceration.

"It's hard for them to sleep sometimes," said Randy Mendoza, the older child's father. "They miss their mom."

Nueces County Asst. District Attorney Joe Mike Pena empathized, but argued her bond should remain high.

"This is hard for her children -- her daughter -- and the family members," Pena said. "But fortunately the family members still can visit. They got Zoom, they can keep contacts like that. Some other family members from the victims of this case are severely hampered and not having any contact, and any contact in the future unless they go to Heaven when their times comes up, and that makes it very difficult for them." 

Mendoza is currently caring for the children and testified on Palacios' behalf, saying she doesn't have a drinking problem or issues with substance abuse.

Palacios also was fired from her job as a disadvantaged business enterprises manager at Flatiron/Dragados LLC.

Ultimately, Valdez ruled to deny a bond reduction after Pena argued that intoxicated drivers are a problem during this time of the year.

"I'm not saying she's a risk of flight, but I think -- I'm concerned -- with the safety of the community," he said. "If you drink to the point . . . where you're driving the wrong way on the Harbor Bridge, head-on, and you kill two people and severely injure a third person, I think that's a serious threat to the community. With the holidays coming up, people getting depressed or celebrating and partying -- this is a time of the year where there's a lot of alcohol that flows freely -- I wanna make sure that we don't have another problem where somebody else is gonna get hurt and killed."

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