EXCLUSIVE - A Mother's Way of Letting Go, Moving On

Brady Todd
Brady Todd

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Any parent who has lost a child can tell you what a traumatic experience it is, one filled with unspeakable pain, but a mother who knows that pain first-hand is doing something surprising. She's advocating for the man accused of killing her child in a drunk driving accident.

A cross on a tree made out of horse shoes is symbol for Kim Todd. It reminds her of the day her life changed forever. On November 6, 2010, her son Brady Todd, was hurt in a crash. Four days later, he died from his injuries, but he wasn't the one behind the wheel, it was his friend Daniel Marquez.

Marquez was driving drunk when he lost control of his car and slammed into a tree. This week, he was sentenced, and in an ironic twist, Kim was there to show her support for the man accused of killing her son.

"I spoke on Daniel's behalf because I felt like everyone has an opportunity to be rehabilitated. I felt that it was very important for Daniel to learn from the incident as well as other people around and that there are programs people can learn from," Todd said.

One program in particular that Todd is talking about is the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment (SAFP), which means instead of spending a long time behind bars, the person spends time in rehab.

She wants him to be rehabilitated so he can understand what he did wrong and learn from his mistakes.

"I was asking that Daniel not be just sentenced to prison, he needed to learn from the incident the accident and be able to rehabilitate and that's what he will be able to do at SAFP," Todd said.

She said Marquez made a mistake which ended the life of her 19-year-old son. Physically she couldn't do anything for her son but there was something she could do for Daniel.

"Everybody needs someone to help speak for them when they are not able to do so and I felt like that Daniel needed the opportunity as well," Todd said.

Although she has lost her son, she has gained some valuable lessons along the way.

"I don't think Daniel woke up that morning and said 'I think I am gonna kill somebody,' it was an accident that happened and if we can learn to forgive and to help others and advocate whether they are the victim or the perpetrator, I think it's going to make all of us a better person and make this a safer place to live," Todd said.

Marquez was sentenced on Wednesday for intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.

He will serve four months in jail after that he will go to a substance abuse felony punishment facility where he will spend anywhere from six months to a year. He will also have to pay a fine and be on probation for the next 10 years.