She and her older sister had spent the afternoon of July 9, 2011, with their aunt Maria, getting their hair and nails done at Northeast Mall.
“I was so excited to show my family my nails and my haircut,” Chilli recalled.
But the 7-year-old never got the chance. On their way home a drunk driver with a .23 blood alcohol concentration slammed into their car head-on.
Chilli is now in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the breast bone down. Her aunt Maria broke her neck and leg and spent a year learning to walk again.
On Thursday the man who shattered their lives – Jeremy Adrian Solis – reached an agreement with prosecutors, pled guilty to two counts of intoxication assault, and was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison on each count with the sentences to run concurrently.
Afterward Chilli, now 9, asked her mother to read a letter she had written to Solis.
“Hi Jeremy my name is Xitcalli Vasquez But they call me chilli and I am 9 year old a 4th grader so I was Dianoise as a paraplegic,” the letter said.
Chilli wrote how she couldn’t speak after the wreck, how she was fed by tubes, and of the special people she met in the hospital and at therapy.
“Another thing I remember in ICU is having a lot of Visitor. They would bring me gifts and other would pray for me.”
She wrote about her struggles.
“There were times that I Would cry and cry. I understand that the nurses wanted the Best for me but it really hurt when I couldn’t do it. In therapy they showed me how to lift myself and dress myself. But right now it’s still very hard. My mom does a lot for me but I try myself, There are days that I cry cause I can’t do what I used to do.”
Chilli ended her letter by telling Solis that she would like for him to meet her family.
“…We have lots of fun and there are Days that are bad because I have a hard time getting around. Look at what I said and the words I said and tell me how I look and feel. How do you feel today?”
Prosecutor Allenna Bangs, who handled the case and felt strongly that Solis deserved nothing less than the maximum, said Chilli’s letter moved state district Judge Everett Young’s courtroom to tears. Despite all of her pain and suffering, the child’s inner beauty shines through.
“Today, the victims finally had the chance to face him and show him that he may have broken them physically – but he cannot break their spirit,” Bangs said. -- Melody McDonald, spokeswoman, Tarrant County District Attorney's office.