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Man gets life for killing 28-year-old woman in crash as he fled Garland police

A jury found Bobby Lee Murphy guilty of murder and returned a sentence of life in prison.
Credit: Provided

DALLAS — A 38-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for a deadly crash as he fled police in Garland last year, officials announced Monday.

A jury found Bobby Lee Murphy guilty of murder and returned a sentence of life in prison, according to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

Murphy was evading a traffic stop in Garland last year when he crashed into the car of 28-year-old Karla Rico, killing her and injuring her 10-year-old son. The family's dog also died in the crash.

Rico's son was left in critical condition, officials said.

The crash happened on Sept. 6, 2021 in the area of Shiloh Road and Northwest Highway in Garland, where an officer pulled Murphy over.

When the officer found evidence of drugs in the car, Murphy sped away, running a red light, driving into oncoming traffic and reaching average speeds of 99 mph, officials said.

Police lost him as he headed north on Garland Avenue. A short time later, another officer near Garland and Miller Road saw Murphy drive through a red light and crash into Rico's silver Toyota.

Murphy also struck a black Honda CRV that was stopped at the red light.

Rico died at the scene and her son was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Murphy was charged with murder and evading arrest causing serious bodily injury. The case became the first trial for the district attorney's office's new vehicular crimes unit.

"We are sending a message that this office takes vehicular crimes just as seriously as all other violent crimes," District Attorney John Creuzot said. "Vehicle fatalities are a major threat to the safety of people in Dallas County, and it is important we do what we can to change the behaviors of those at risk of committing these types of offenses."

Prosecutor Andrew James said Murphy's "selfish choices caused the ultimate tragedy for Karla Rico and her family."

The vehicular crimes unit handles serious cases involving vehicles, such as intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.

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