Nancy Winslow of Clovis eulogized and buried her husband, Frank, last month.
Tuesday, she went to Fresno County Superior Court to make sure he gets justice.
Winslow watched as Perla Ibeth Vazquez entered a not guilty plea to murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with Frank Winslow's Oct. 21 death on Highway 168 in Clovis.
Vazquez, 25, also pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal collision and driving on a suspended license for a prior drunken-driving conviction.
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If convicted of murder, Vazquez faces a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
After the hearing, Winslow said her husband's death should spark the community to enact tougher jail sentences for drunken drivers who are repeat offenders.
"They get a slap on the wrist, do a program and pay a fine," she said.
But these programs for drunken drivers don't work, Winslow said, "so we are left to deal with the tragedy of their actions."
Court records show Vazquez, who also goes by Vasquez, was sentenced to drunken driving programs after being convicted of drunken driving in February 2006 and August last year.
A criminal complaint also accused her of five misdemeanor charges, including drunken driving, driving with a suspended license and hit-and run stemming from an incident on July 9 of this year.
Frank Winslow's death has prompted his family to sue Vazquez for wrongful death. The lawsuit said Vazquez's negligence caused Nancy Winslow and her children immense pain and suffering.
"It was a devastating loss for them," said attorney Stephen Cornwell, who represents the Winslow family.
Frank Winslow was a loving husband and father who worked as a truck driver for Foster Farms for 34 years, Cornwell said. He and his wife had been married nearly 28 years. Nancy Winslow, 45, said her husband was killed four miles from home.
As a mother of two children, Winslow said she feels sorry for Vazquez because she is young. "People make mistakes and deserve a second chance," she said. "But after that, they need to be incarcerated a long time."
Relatives say Vazquez went to a concert before the fatal collision. Around 3:15 a.m. Oct. 21, Vazquez's car rear-ended Winslow's Jeep Wrangler, causing the Jeep to veer off the embankment, the California Highway Patrol said.
Winslow was wearing his seat belt but was partly thrown from the Jeep, the CHP said. Minutes after her arrest, Vazquez passed out in the back of a patrol car.