Jury hears from parents of slain 7-year-old in Sergio Almanza trial

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police say Sergio Almanza was driving an ATV drunk when he ran a red light on Central in 2021.

7-year-old Pronoy Bhattacharya was crossing the street with his family after leaving River of Lights. 

Police claim Almanza crashed into Pronoy, killing him.

His defense doesn’t deny that Almanza drove recklessly, and caused the deadly crash. 

For them, the trial is about one thing: 

“We have a fundamental difference with the evidence with the state, and that has to do with the DWI component to count one. We believe the evidence will not support an impairment case, a DWI case,” said Ahmad Assed, defense attorney.

Prosecutors showed video evidence Tuesday, showing both the crash and the aftermath. They also showed a video of the ATV Almanza was driving, weaving in and out of traffic. 

Prosecutors say they have evidence that can prove Almanza was drinking before the crash. 

The jury also heard from Pronoy’s father, who was also hit during the crash. 

“I remember waking up and hearing Deepshikha crying, screaming that Pronoy is dead, Pronoy is dead,” said Aditya Bhattacharya. 

Bhattacharya said it took more than a year for his injuries to heal, and that he’s still suffering chronic pain to this day. 

Pronoy’s mother also testified Tuesday. 

“He (Aditya) was not moving, I thought he was dead, until I saw him on a stretcher after,” said Deepshika. “ What I remember is seeing my son, and walking up to him, and I remember screaming.”

A man named Andres Salazar, who went off-roading with Almanza prior to the crash, also testified Tuesday. He remembers the group was drinking during the off-roading trip and at a restaurant following the trip. 

There were multiple objections during his testimony. 

Salazar was also the first witness to be cross-examined by the defense, as they try to convince the jury Almanza wasn’t drunk.

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