Bartender accused of serving man 11 beers before deadly prom night crash

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Video shows bartender serving man before deadly wreck
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DEADLY DECISION: Exclusive video shows a bartender accused of overserving a man before he caused a deadly DWI wreck.

HOUSTON, Texas -- A bartender accused of serving 11 beers to a man who killed a girl in a prom night crash has been arrested.

Eyewitness News was there when Natalia Ortiz, 25, was arrested on a liquor violation and an unrelated forgery charge.

Exclusive video from the restaurant shows Ortiz serving Edin Palacios, 26, at least 11 beers into the early morning hours of May 14, 2016.

At one point, Palacios had three half-open beers in front of him with 30 minutes before closing. He drank them all.

Court records say Palacios was stumbling, and yet, Ortiz still served him.

After he left, Palacios led police on a chase which ended when he crashed into the car with 18-year-old Jocelynn Valero and her boyfriend inside. Valero died.

This is the second case in a new Harris County District Attorney's Office initiative to crack down on irresponsible bartenders and servers.

"We have many more in the pipeline and we are going to continue to do this, going forward until people get the message that it is time to be responsible with how you serve alcohol to individuals, either underage or over-served," said Sean Teare, the chief prosecutor of the DA's Vehicular Crimes Unit.

Valero's family sent a statement in response to Ortiz's arrest.

Analisa Valero, Jocelynn's sister-in-law, released this statement Wednesday on behalf of the Valero family:

On behalf of the Valero family, we are pleased to hear of this arrest. Unfortunately there are a lot of details regarding what happened the night of Jocelynn's death that we are just learning about, along with the general public, and one of those details is that apparently Mr. Palacios showed visible signs of being quite impaired, and yet the decision was made by this person, who is supposed to be a licensed professional, to continue to serve him alcohol. This would mean that yes, this person did have a hand in the death of our beloved Jocelynn, as well as the pain & suffering caused to her boyfriend, Moses. We look forward to seeing justice carried out.

WATCH: Bartender arrested 2 years after deadly crash

Palacios pleaded guilty to murder in April of this year. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

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Jocelynn Valero