Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Drunken driver gets 13 years for fatal wreck

For my son’s life, it is not enough’

June 30, 2006


— When Victor Anzua-Torres asked the family of Ryan Ostendorf, the man he killed, for forgiveness, Ryan's father turned his back.

"He has no right to speak to me," Robert Ostendorf said later.

Anzua-Torres, 29, was sentenced Thursday to prison for 13 years and nine months for driving drunk and crashing his car into one driven by Ryan Ostendorf, who was 28, a paramedic and Kansas University student who dreamed of being a doctor.

The sentencing capped an emotional hearing where Ryan's family, friends and co-workers spoke about his compassion, helpfulness and bright future, and how Anzua-Torres' actions wrecked the lives of many.

The crash occurred the night of Dec. 5, 2005, on U.S. Highway 40 near Shawnee Heights Road.

Ostendorf was driving to work at American Medical Response. Many of his co-workers responded to the accident, rendering aid to Anzua-Torres and others at the scene.

'An enormous hole'

Anzua-Torres had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08, authorities said. He had no driver's license, had a prior drunken-driving arrest and had been deported as an illegal immigrant once before.

He was driving a Cadillac Escalade east in the westbound lane when he struck Ostendorf's Jeep Cherokee.

"My family has an enormous hole where Ryan's life ought to be," said Ryan's mother, Jo Ann Ostendorf, of Gothenburg, Neb.

She wore Ryan's lab coat from KU as she spoke in the Shawnee County courtroom.

She said Ryan was a biology student at KU and planned on being a cardiologist.

"He wanted to mend broken hearts and he died of one," she said, adding that KU granted him a degree after his death. The mother said she would miss her son's bear hugs and smile. "I will never hear him say, 'I love you Mama.'"

Meagan Kennedy, Ryan's fiance who also is a paramedic, said Ryan was her "soul mate and love of my life."

"You left all of us with holes in our hearts that can never be filled," she said to Anzua-Torres.

Anzua-Torres frequently looked down during the statements, sometimes dabbing tears from his eyes as an interpreter translated for him.

Speaking through the interpreter, Anzua-Torres asked the family to forgive him and said he felt remorse for Ryan's death.

"I never wanted this to happen," he said, sometimes reading from a handwritten sheet of notebook paper. "I ask forgiveness with all my heart for the pain I have caused."

Maximum penalty

Shawnee County Assistant Dist. Atty. Karen Wittman sought the maximum penalty for Anzua-Torres.

"He set out to hurt somebody that night," she said. A friend had tried to drive, but although Anzua-Torres was drunk, he demanded that he drive to show everyone how "bad" he was, she said.

"On that day, you can't get any more selfish than what he was," she said.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Nancy Parrish sentenced Anzua-Torres to the maximum for the reckless second-degree murder charge: 11 years and six months.

The remaining time on his sentence was due to additional charges related to the incident including driving under the influence and not having a driver's license.

Parrish ordered the sentences to run consecutively. Earlier, Anzua-Torres' public defender, Richard Jones, requested that the sentences for the various offenses run at the same time.

But Parrish declined.

"You have really exhibited a flagrant disregard of our laws," she told Anzua-Torres.

She noted he had ignored an order to receive treatment after his previous drunken-driving conviction. He also had been deported in 2000 and been arrested for several other offenses, including possession of drug paraphernalia.

After the hearing, Jo Ann Ostendorf said she appreciated that Parrish gave Anzua-Torres the maximum sentence on the murder charge, but added, "For my son's life, it is not enough."


Michael McClain 11 years, 12 months ago

The article says that he was deported in 2000... How did he get back in? Is he a citizen now? This is America... please learn how to speak English!

Mike Birch 11 years, 12 months ago

My condolences to the Ostendorf family! I'm sure their

son was a fine man and would have went on to

become a good doctor! I'll pray for the family at church

this sunday!


shlehman 11 years, 12 months ago

This is a prime example of how scary and backwards our "legal system" is. How in the world can an illegal alien with multiple prior convictions, and NO legal license of ANY kind be charged and convicted of murder and only spend 11 years in prison??? Are you kidding me? That is the MAXIMUM penalty??? Bring on the death penalty, folks!!! Get these illegals out of here and bring back reality and justice!!! Sincere condolences to the family and friends of this fine young gentleman.

quigley 11 years, 12 months ago

What I cant understand is this guy is illlegal in our country, been deported once, busted for DUI once, arrested for drugs once, has no license, and no way of communicating except for spanish. How does this guy get an Escalade? Only in america.

countrygirl 11 years, 12 months ago

Gentry did not get a diversion--he wound serving some time. I used to work with him. He knew he really messed up and felt awful about it. At least he wasn't in the country illegally.

conservative 11 years, 12 months ago

Glad to see he got the maximum.

Wish the maximum was higher.

happyone 11 years, 12 months ago

I feel for the family and send my condolences. I also feel that this immigrant (leagal or not) is genuinely sorry for the accident. If the family doesn't forgive him they will get their deserved Karma.

ljreader123 11 years, 12 months ago

I think you are missing the point. This has NOTHING to do with an illigal immigrant- that's a side point. The issue is that our society allows drinkers to get behind the wheel. We turn our heads when someone drives drunk. We need tougher laws on those with 1 conviction. I lost my fiancee to a drunk driver with 19 DUI charges. He was sentanced to 5 years but was released after 2 and the next week killed by fiancee when he decided to drink and drive again. The cops joked about who would stop him that weekend. Cops like that and our society should have to pay for the loss of these lives. Our cops and our judges who let people go are responsible for these lost lives. When we become a soceity that wont' tolerate these actions anymore, people will stop feeling the loss of the others. So the real issue here people involves us letting repeat offenders back on our streets. Taking away a license does nothing. The guy who killed my fiancee didn't have a license for 15 years. Give me a break. Take their cars away- GET THEM OFF THE STREETS!

ljreader123 11 years, 12 months ago

Whoever wrote that the family should forgive this person certainly has never gone through something like this. I wouldn't forgive him. He changed their lives forever, he'll be free in 13 years and can live his life, but this family will never been normal or feel normal every again. This man who is dead will never have the opportunities that the murderer gets. I'd never forgive him.

happyone 11 years, 12 months ago

ljreader--I have gone through something like this-- I still say they need to forgive him -- not forget it happened -- but forgive....If they don't they will be bringing undue negativity to themselves that will cause them more problems... Negativity breeds negativity... Forgive and become positive so life can heal the very deep, hurtful wounds this has caused. React to this in a positive manner...Get stiffer penalties impossed, change the laws...but make it positive!!!

bankboy119 11 years, 12 months ago

ljreader I agree with happyone. They should definitely forgive them. Of course it's easier to say than do but is still something that should be done.

Of course if we had tighter border controls this wouldn't have happened anyways.

freudian_slip 11 years, 12 months ago

Posted by enforcer (anonymous) on June 30, 2006 at 6:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"hell they should have given him a diversion Gentry got one. Wheres the love people illegal or not he came here and he is here to stay now. The dept of corrections will have his citizenship all taken care of by the time he is released at the tax payers expense. I love America the land og opperunity."

Are you really going to compare this to Gentry? I always thought you might be slow, but this proves it. This comment and your atrocious spelling!

esubrett 11 years, 12 months ago

Happyone: So what will come of Victor Anzua-Torres when Karma gets a hold of him?

Iwanttosaythis 11 years, 12 months ago

I think everyone here is missing the point here its not about being legal or illegal its all about DRAINKING AND DRIVING. no one heard me cry when my cuzz was killed by a blondy, is she an illegal blondy no. all we knew was that she was killed by a drunk driver on her way to work.all you people make it sound like it would be ok if it was someone who was legal. white or black

lua423 11 years, 12 months ago

It saddens me to think I may interact with some of you. I can't believe the racist, ignorant, bullsh*t that is posted here day after day by the same people.

Your denial is beneath you, and I see through you.

ljreader123 11 years, 12 months ago

It's not about racism it's not about illigal immigrants, it's about people drinking and driving. Why is everyone missing this point?

conservative 11 years, 12 months ago

ljreader123. You've hit the nail on the head.

Iwanttosaythis 11 years, 12 months ago

does everyone here in lawrence hate mexicans

Iwanttosaythis 11 years, 12 months ago

Lawrence Against Mexicans,Ks like the new name for this town

craigers 11 years, 12 months ago

This sucks, but I agree with Happyone that the man is probably genuinely sorry. Keeping grudges will only make you bitter.

ljreader123 11 years, 12 months ago

ok, everyone has lost the issue. It's about any person drinking and driving. Doesn't matter where they live or what their background is. If peopel drink and drive, someone will die. I hope it's the person driving but most of the time, we're not that lucky. I'm sad everyone is missing the point and trying to turn it into other issues. Maybe this is why judges and cops let so many people back on the streets after they drink and drive.

ljreader123 11 years, 12 months ago

Your're right because no AMERICAN has ever killed someone by drinking and driving

Iwanttosaythis 11 years, 12 months ago

Marion u must work at night or just another all day all night drunk american!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theresa1000 11 years, 12 months ago

Don't expect someone to be able to forgive right away, that takes time.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 12 months ago

11 years IS along time for a murder via DUI if you look up the others over the past 5 years. But I am sure he does feel remorse. Knowing you took a life is very troubling to most people, no matter how "bad" they are.

Gabe Hoffman 11 years, 12 months ago

I think people are confusing two different people.

Brandon Gentry served 4 years, while Mrs. Gentry got probation.

happyone 11 years, 12 months ago

Posted by esubrett (anonymous) on June 30, 2006 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Happyone: So what will come of Victor Anzua-Torres when Karma gets a hold of him?

That is for Karma to decide.....I do not know but imagine it probably won't be good....hopefully he is genuinely sorry for his actions and will take steps to become more positive....whatever those steps may be....perhaps he can go talk to teenagers about what he has gone through and will continue to go through. But since it has been assumed that he is still here illegally by many posters, then its really hard to say....

Terry Jacobsen 11 years, 12 months ago

Its a wonder that that didn't happen with our system of slap on the wrist and cry about the poor folks who lost a brother, father, nephew. How pathetic.

bankboy119 11 years, 12 months ago

Iwanttosaythis, you're an absolute idiot. I get on people for calling names but your posts have seriously got to go. How does some one with your IQ even begin to function? Are you out of junior high yet? Please tell me no. If not and you say you got a great edumacation from good old L-Town, I'll understand.

The guy is illegal. He had 19 prior convictions. Why wasn't something done about this before? Because MANY, not all, Democrats want open borders and Congress hasn't done anything about it. Could this have happened by some one who was legal? Yes, but it didn't. This death could have been prevented had we had more strict border controls.

GardenMomma 11 years, 12 months ago

I also find it very interesting that this man was arrested for DUI once before (and since his BAC was .26 this time it probably stands that he has been drinking and driving MANY times before and just got caught twice), was deported six years ago, has no driver's license (probably because he was/is here illegally), and is driving a $40,000 vehicle. Is this man's family on SRS too? What do you want to bet they are? That is, if he has any.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 12 months ago

My brother was killed in this same way too. An illegal alien, driving without a license, and really really drunk going 60 in a 20 ran over my brother on asidewalk!!!

What the hell are these people doing in this country, and more importantly...why the hell do we let them stay? How could anyone advocate allowing ilk like this sorry #*&^& individual into our country???

Demmies and Republicans both are responsible for this mess AND for solving it.

There is not one economic gain that offset the large amount of dead bodies this illegal alien issue has caused.

Robert is right this man has no voic nor does he deserve voice for Robert to hear.

This is everyman's son, everymother's son, everysister's brother, and every brother's brother. We have lost another AMERICAN life taken from us by an illegal entrant WHO HAS NO RIGHT to make us soul search as to why the illegal comes here. We have EVERY RIGHT to demand THEY STOP COMING.


ASBESTOS 11 years, 12 months ago

"and is driving a $40,000 vehicle. Is this man's family on SRS too? What do you want tobet they are?"

No on that bet. One of the things mot understood about the illegals is that yes they work under one name, have a "family" or 2 in another name and are making out LARGE on our till.

How the hell does an illegal alien afford to drive an is either drugs or scamin our system.

We need to run all the social security numbers on those getting assistance and shut down all the ones on BOGUS SSN's! and prosecute them for fraud and theft.

This guy doing "work an American won't do" is also breaking lots of laws and making muchmore money than you or I.

We gotta stop this!

Again, where is the State agencies.

What do you wanna bet that a lot of those Medicaid payments in th other LJW story were for illegals??

Pretty soon there will not be anyone paying in except for those of us that want to do things the right and honorable way.

These illegals that are ripping us off and killing kids and flaunting laws are NOT HONORABLE! They are not deserving of being here and certianly not derseving of citizenship. Brownback thinks they do though!! what a maroon!

They gotta GO!!!

bearded_gnome 11 years, 12 months ago

Posted by bearded_gnome ( anonymous) on June 29, 2006 at 11:20 p.m. ( Suggest removal)

this death was preventable! he was deported once, then convicted of drunk driving but not deported after that, HUH??? !!!

damn. let's fix our laws so simply if an illegal gets convicted of any crime, he's shipped back. but build a good fence, with landmines between two lines of fence electrified. put up signs saying: "you cross, you die." in 100 languages. damn it!

ain't racist, just want to stop illegals.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 12 months ago

LJReader, absolutely right! Brownback actually voted for that shameless piece of trash in the Senate. I say, time to repeal the 17th amendment. can we recall brownback?
besides the provisions you cite, there are about a dozen other items which stink to high heaven.
build a damned fence! make deportation mean something finally.
and you are absolutely right about Mecha. where I came from, illegals have overrun mexifornia, commit a huge percentage of crime, take a wallopping amount of social services $$S! and the stupid misguided bilingual teaching was full force at my high school, 1970's. so, lots at my school, majority hispanic, graduated with little or no english literacy!

ASBESTOS 11 years, 11 months ago

"If you think everyone here are meek little martyr slaves cleaning your motel rooms, you might want to read up on MEChA and Aztlan.. radical militants are growing in number and in populariity, especially those from Mexico. Disturbing stuff. Another breed of terrorists, and we are willfully letting them in and supporting them with our tax dollars."

Absolutely correct, and they push HATE SPEECH, Racisism, illegal voting, illegal activeites, and overthrow of the govenment openly. Yes they should be treated as terrorists.

bizarre 11 years, 11 months ago

Word of the wise:

The time we spend to prepare for a lifetime,

Is just the time that we have today.

A bad decision takes less than a minute to make,

yet the results can last a lifetime!

ChinaSyndrome 11 years, 11 months ago

Interesting that we in Kansas teach Creationism while bemoaning the teaching of "nonexistant mythological Nation of Atzlan" in Mexican schools. Mayhap, we have more in common with Mexican Educational Agendas that we would like to admit?

I realize this has little to do with the death of a young man at the hands of a drunk driver. I feel sorry for all involved. I don't think anyone who has been drinking has the intention on taking a life when they get behind the wheel, but, sadly, these are often the results.

and_rea 11 years, 11 months ago

Wow! The things you people say are vicious. My name is Andrea. I was the MURDER victims youngest sister. How dare you, happyone, tell me when it is my time to forgive this thing for what he has done. In his speech to Ryan's family he said he was sorry once, followed by reasons why he should not be held accountable for his actions. I would like to think that I am a stong enough person to forgive him, but I can't do that right now, I'm not ready yet. Ryan was on his way to work to help save other lives when his was taken. Where's karma come into play here? Anzua-Torrez was offered treatment for his prior offenses and did not show up for probation or treatment. My family lives in Nebraska and this is our only way of keeping up on the stories written about my brother. I know that when my mother reads all the stories her heart will break a little more. Please for her sake, my families sake, keep the talk clean and Please, Please, Please.....Don't Drink and Drive!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.