Tomas Ayala would have turned 21 on New Years Eve. His family is still grieving, seven months after his life was tragically taken.

Ayala was driving on Old Nogales Highway in Sahuarita on May 13, when he died in a head-on collision with 24-year-old Camron Ortega.


“I love you son,” Father grieves son killed by drunk driver Memorial concert planned for son of local musician Gabriel Ayala

At first, Ortega faced five felony charges: second degree murder, leaving the scene of a deadly accident, aggravated DUI while driving the wrong way, aggravated DUI with alcohol concentration above 0.08, and criminal damage.

But in a plea change hearing in Pima County Superior Court on Thursday, Ortega pled guilty to two, reduced charges: misdemeanor DUI and felony manslaughter, which carries a prison term of seven to 21 years.

Tomas father, Gabriel, says thats not enough for justice.

The homicide panel has decided to offer a plea to the individual that stole my sons life. Only a parent or the creator himself should have that responsibility and ability to do so for a child. I am extremely disappointed in the court system and how they have handled this for my son.

Sentencing for Ortega is scheduled for Feb. 16.