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Driver gets more prison time in truck crash at Naval Air Station Kingsville, 7 immigrants die

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KINGSVILLE, Texas — The driver of a fleeing vehicle that wrecked at a South Texas military installation must serve 45 years in prison over the crash that left seven immigrants dead.

Idelfonso Garcia-Benitez of Mexico was sentenced Monday for his guilty pleas to multiple state murder and aggravated assault counts.

Kingsville police in 2013 were chasing a pickup truck crammed with 15 people when the vehicle hit a barrier at Naval Air Station Kingsville. Seven passengers suspected of being in the U.S. illegally died. Seven other immigrant passengers were hurt.

Garcia-Benitez in December was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on conspiracy-related convictions.

This week's sentencing on state charges includes 35-year terms for the fatalities and 20-year terms for assault. Those terms will be served concurrently after Garcia-Benitez finishes his federal sentence.

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