Former Amazon delivery driver charged in Little Village woman's death found not guilty

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A former Amazon delivery driver charged in the 2016 death of a Chicago grandmother was found not guilty on Thursday.

Valdimar Gray was charged with reckless homicide after the SUV he was driving to deliver packages for Amazon hit and killed 84-year-old Telesfora Escamilla just before Christmas three years ago.

"He was relieved," defense attorney Adam Sheppard said of his client. "This has been very difficult. He lost his job. He's been very remorseful."

Defense attorneys argued that Gray was not speeding or impaired by drugs or alcohol on the night in question, and that he made a complete stop at the intersection. He waited at the scene to speak to police, his attorneys said in court. Judge Diana Kenworthy said in verdict that there was not enough evidence to suggest that Gray acted recklessly.

But that's not what Escamilla's family believes.

"She has the right of way; she's a pedestrian," son-in-law Joe Seleski said of Escamilla, who was walking in the crosswalk at the intersection of Drake Avenue and 28th Street when she was killed. "He got away with murder today."

"She should have never died crossing a street in the proper crossing lane," said one of Escamilla's daughters, Gloria. "Justice was not served today."

Joann, another daughter, said her family is forever changed.

"She was the glue of our home. She kept the family together," she said of her mom.

The family still has a civil lawsuit pending against Amazon, which they said they'll continue to pursue despite Thursday's verdict.
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