Deadly collision case goes to jury

BROWNSVILLE — Jurors are now deciding whether 23-year-old Keila Nunez-Ortiz is guilty of manslaughter.

She is accused in the 2015 death of Sylvia Mena, 40, of Harlingen, a mother of three.

The jury began deliberating after lunch at 1:15 p.m. yesterday and continued until about 7:45 p.m.

The judge instructed the jury to return today to resume their deliberations.

She faces two to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Police say Nunez-Ortiz, also of Harlingen, was speeding and using her cell phone when she slammed her white 2012 Nissan 350Z into a grey passenger van driven by Mena.

The accident happened May 20, 2015, at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and 21st Street.

According to police, the white Nissan was traveling west on Harrison approaching 21st Street when the passenger van attempted to cross Harrison southbound from 21st Street.

Police said the momentum from the collision caused both vehicles to careen off the roadway and ultimately land in a nearby parking lot of a dentist’s office.

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