SEGUIN — Cody J. Lorenz pleaded guilty to felony murder Monday morning in Second 25th District Court.
In response to his plea, District Judge W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall convicted Lorenz of the offense and scheduled sentencing for 9 a.m. Nov. 27.
Murder while committing a felony is a first-degree felony punishable by a sentence of five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Lorenz, 21, of Seguin, was charged in the death of Amber Robbins, 19, who died in a two-vehicle collision in December 2011 at the intersection of Highway 46 and West Kingsbury Street.
Lorenz’s case was on Monday’s docket for a jury trial, but he had made the pretrial decision that if the jury found him guilty sentencing would be done by the judge.
After his plea and conviction, Lorenz was returned to the Guadalupe County Jail.
At noon Monday, prospective jurors summoned for duty Monday were being questioned for possible service in a civil case.
District Attorney Heather McMinn had said last week that she was ready to take the Lorenz case to trial.
“On behalf of the family, I think it is a relief that he accepted responsibility,” McMinn said Monday afternoon.
McMinn said she had not yet made a decision on what sentence to recommend when Lorenz returns to court Nov. 27. She said she’ll be conferring with the victim’s family about what sentence they believe is sufficient.
Lorenz’s attorney, Veryl Brown, did not respond to a request for comment about the case.
Lorenz’s plea, which was an “open plea” and not the result of a plea bargain, did not include a plea of guilty regarding the issue of a deadly weapon (the vehicle driven by Lorenz) having been used in the commission of the offense.
The collision that killed Robbins was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Dec. 29, 2011. Seguin police said Robbins was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Trail Blazer going south on Highway 46. At the intersection with West Kingsbury, her Chevrolet was struck by a 1997 Dodge pickup driven by Lorenz. Witnesses told police the Dodge had run a red light at the intersection.
Robbins died at the scene, and Lorenz was taken to Guadalupe Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Police said marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcoholic beverages were found in the Dodge pickup, and Lorenz initially was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Two weeks later, lab test results showed Lorenz’s blood alcohol content to have been 0.17, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, and he was rearrested on Jan. 13 on a charge of murder while committing a felony. Authorities said the felony was Lorenz’s third offense for driving while intoxicated.
First- and second-offense DWIs are misdemeanors, but DWI becomes a felony with the third and subsequent offenses.
In another case on Monday’s docket, Robert Flores, 32, of Seguin, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury to a family member, and Kirkendall sentenced him according to the terms of a plea agreement.
Flores was sentenced to a seven-year term in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with credit for 235 days served in the county jail.
Flores was indicted in April on two counts of assault causing bodily injury enhanced by a prior conviction for misdemeanor assault of a family member in November 2003 in Guadalupe County court-at-law. His indictment also showed a prior felony conviction for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in January 2007 in 25th District Court.