OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An Oklahoma County judge opted not to incarcerate a man who even prosecutors believe is punishing himself more than time in a prison cell could.
Gustavo Guiterrez Salgado on Wednesday received a five-year deferred sentence and an order to pay $56,000 in restitution to his daughter after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Salgado, 39, was charged in the Jan. 7, 2001, death of his son, Rexford Alan Salgado, a 16-year-old Deer Creek ninth grade basketball player.
Rexford Salgado died after his father's vehicle slid on ice and crashed. The older Salgado tested positive for alcohol.
The sentence by District Judge Virgil Black requires Salgado to pay $250 a month for 20 years to Rexford Salgado's sister, Natasha, a 17-year-old high school dropout with a 1-year-old child.
``Judge Black was extremely creative _ we need more of doing what is best for society,'' defense attorney Scott Adams said.
Adams argued for a deferred sentence, while Assistant District Attorney Robert Swartz asked for a 20-year suspended sentence.
With a suspended sentence, the court would have had more leverage if Salgado got into trouble in the future, Assistant District Attorney Robert Swartz said.
But if Salgado had received a suspended sentence, he would have been deported back to Mexico. With a deferred sentence, Salgado can remain in the United States and continue to support his daughter and his elderly parents in Mexico.
Salgado pleaded guilty without a sentencing agreement with the district attorney, leaving the punishment up to the judge.
Black made the daughter promise she would get a college education and provide her child an education. She was not involved in the accident.
Swartz said the judge did what he thought would serve the greater purpose.
``This was his own 16-year-old son,'' Swartz said. ``He is already in counseling for drugs and alcohol. We can't punish him any more than he is already punishing himself.''