Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Damoah
A lengthy extradition fight, spanning two continents, has ended with a British citizen back on U.S. soil and behind bars. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN -- Abigail Damoah has avoided a morning like this for nearly two years. She is facing a judge in a Broward courtroom on a charge of vehicular homicide. Watching- the father of the man she is accused of killing.
Carmel Cafiero: "What was it like to see her today in court?"
Michael Shiwraj: "Carmel, it's so much mixed feelings."
A 7News investigation first revealed Bryan Shiwraj was a passenger in this car in 2006. Authorities say it was going 80 miles an hour as it exited I-95 at Commercial Boulevard and crashed into a tree. The Florida Highway Patrol says Damoah, driving on a suspended license, was behind the wheel.
Bryan was rushed to the hospital but died. Authorities told Damoah she could be charged criminally.
Cpl. Richard Nardiello: "I would be seeking charges for vehicular homicide. She looked at me, there was no remorse in her eyes. She put someone else's life in danger for the way she was driving, she needs to be held accountable."
But that would not be easy. Authorities say Damoah, a British citizen, flew back to England before charges could be filed. She re-entered the U.S. in 2010 and was immediately taken into custody.
But a Broward judge reduced her bond from $175,000 to $20,000 and she was released. Bryan's father Michael was furious.
Michael Shiwraj: "I thought that for a person who's charged with homicide, ran away, skipped town and then returned, that the flight risk would be high again, that she will abscond again."
A month later, Damoah was arrested for prostitution in New York and her attorney claims she was deported back to England. But now, after a lengthy extradition process she is back in Broward County facing charges and again wants to be released on bond.
George Charnota: "For the purposes of the bond hearing, I was hoping to have it sooner rather than later so we could at least get past that."
Judge: "It'll be sooner than later on the bond hearing."
The hearing is set for June and it is expected prosecutors and Bryan's family will strongly object to bond being set.
Carmel: "Are you concerned she may get released again?"
Michael Shiwraj: "I am very concerned and I hope the judge can see you know, all the efforts and what was done to bring her back."
Damoah's attorney says she did not run.
George Charnota: "What I do know is that she never intended to flee, she always wanted to face these charges head on."
And now that may finally happen.
Michael Shiwraj: "It was a sense of relief that they brought her back. I've waited six years for this, and as you see, I'm still so much emotional."
Michael hopes a trial will answer his questions about what happened the day his son lost his life.