Lubbock man takes plea deal to avoid murder charge for March 2016 deadly crash

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LUBBOCK, Texas– A Lubbock man pleaded guilty for a possession of drugs, and as part of a plea deal, a murder charge was dropped.

crash 19th and Q 720 v03

Jonathan Lovato, 33 at the time of the crash, was charged with murder for the death of Ngoc “Nancy” Dung Tran. Lubbock Police said he led officers on a high speed chase that ended at the intersection of 19th Street and Avenue Q with the crash.

During the chase, police officers were authorized to crash into Lovato’s vehicle to stop him before anyone was hurt. However, officers could not do it in time.

RELATED STORY: Lovato Charged With Murder for Police Chase That Ended in Woman’s Death

Tran’s son, Tony, told in a June 2016 interview she was a woman who never stopped helping or loving anyone that knew her.

Tran worked as a cafeteria cook for more than 15 years at Covenant Women and Children’s Hospital.

“Even though she is not here physically, she is here with us spiritually and continues to watch over us everyday, walk with us everyday, and love us everyday,” Tony said.

“She was the pillar in us navigating life, she was our rock and foundation, you stripped all of that away. You robbed us of our mom.”

-sandy tran

Lovato was sentenced to 40 years, plus 10 years plus 40 years in the federal system. But, as part of the plea deal Tuesday in court, his punishment will all be served at the same time. The total will be 40 years.

Lovato was also given credit for nearly 5 1/2 years of jail time he already served.

On Tuesday, Sandy Tran, Tran’s daughter, said in a statement:

“You did more that day five years ago than just make poor decisions, you can’t even call it that. You chose your actions that day, and my mother was killed because of you. She was the pillar in us navigating life, she was our rock and foundation, you stripped all of that away. You robbed us of our mom.”

-Sandy Tran

In a typed a letter from Lovato, he apologized to the Tran family for his actions.

“Today I get to say to Mrs. Trans’ family, to her children, to her husband, I am so sorry for taking her away from you. I am sorry for the grief and pain I have caused each of you over all these years and in the years ahead,” the letter read. “I owe it to Mrs. Tran to right this horrible wrong. I promise I have changed. I promise I will change others.”

RELATED STORY: Family of Woman Killed in Crash Reacts to Murder Charge

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