Martha Perea Orozco last heard her husband's voice on the evening of May 1.
"My love," said José Angel Madrid Salcido, "I am on my way home. Wait for me."
Perea Orozco told a Hennepin County judge Monday morning that she was walking home about 30 minutes later with their daughter, then 11, when they came upon a car pileup. When the duo were within two blocks of their home in north Minneapolis, Perea Orozco spotted her husband's "completely destroyed" vehicle.
"There, in that place, my heart stopped," Perea Orozco said in a victim-impact statement read aloud by a victim advocate.
Perea Orozco broke down in tears as she stood next to the advocate at a podium addressing the court.
Trevon X.M. McMorris, 27, of Brooklyn Park was fleeing police and had crashed into Madrid Salcido's car, pinning him inside. Madrid Salcido, 50, had no pulse at the scene and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Judge Kathryn Quaintance sentenced McMorris Monday to 15 years in prison.
The judge said McMorris' crime was a "glaring example of how a second's worth of bad decisionmaking has huge ramifications for a wide range of people."
McMorris, an unlicensed driver with a long criminal record of driving and drug offenses, pleaded guilty last week to one count of causing a death while fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. A count of first-degree drug sale and first-degree drug manufacturing were dismissed as part of the plea deal, which agreed to the 15-year sentence.
Police were initially called to the 3300 block of Aldrich Avenue N. about 6:20 p.m. that evening to investigate a possible drug deal when McMorris fled in his vehicle, crashing into Madrid Salcido's moving vehicle and then a parked car.
Court documents said police found bags of cocaine beneath McMorris' driver-side floor mat, a loaded Taurus .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a live round in the chamber and suspected marijuana in his car. He also had a large amount of cash in his pockets.
McMorris apologized to Madrid Salcido's family, the court, the community and to his own daughters and family when he was given an opportunity to address the court.
Several of his supporters sat in court along with three supporters for Madrid Salcido.
"I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt," McMorris said. "I wasn't thinking clearly that day."
Perea Orozco wrote her victim-impact statement in Spanish, which was translated into English and read aloud by victim advocate Sharon Born before McMorris received his sentence.
"That Wednesday, McMorris decided that his criminal business was more important than the safety and lives of others," Perea Orozco said. "He put in danger many lives, and ended the life of my beloved husband, a marvelous man who was hardworking, calm and quiet, uncomplicated, humble, generous, friendly."
Perea Orozco referred to her husband as Angel and said he worked hard to provide for their family and his three older children who live in Mexico and Arizona.
"He was the best father for Kimberly and his three older children," she said. "He was the best brother, the best son, the loyal friend, the man who believed in God, who had committed his life to being a positive influence over all of us who had the good fortune to know him and love him."
Madrid Salcido was a contractor, remodeling homes and commercial buildings. He moved to the Twin Cities four years ago from Chihuahua, Mexico, settling in the McKinley neighborhood. His wife and youngest child joined him two years later.
Perea Orozco recalled rushing to the hospital that night and receiving the news that her husband had died.
"When I hugged him, his chest was broken," she said. "His ribs were broken and his blood soaked through my clothes. The horrible reality invaded my whole soul … I felt like I was dying …"
Perea Orozco implored McMorris to reflect on his crime and use his time to improve himself, saying that although she did not hate him, she could not forgive him.
Perea Orozco, who had depended on her husband and hadn't worked, said she has now joined the group her husband worked for, doing taping and painting.
"I have discovered my inner strength," she said. " ... Kimberly and I go to work with the 'crew' and we remember my husband while we work in construction on weekends … I have felt the infinite love of my husband who is with us all of the time, in our minds and in our hearts."