Miami Beach hit-and-run driver faces judge
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The self-proclaimed "party princess" who hit and killed a Miami Beach chef is facing new charges.
A teary-eyed Karlie Tomica attended court Friday after, prosecutors said, her blood alcohol content came back almost three times over the legal limit. This new evidence required her second appearance in court as charges were upgraded.
Tomica stands accused of hitting and killing South Beach Executive Chef Stefano Riccioletti on Jan. 28 while he was on his way to work.
In the papers, the state says, Tomica, a bartender at Nikki Beach Club on South Beach, first "consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, presumably while at Nikki Beach, where she was employed."
Then, at about 5:30 a.m., she got into her boyfriend's Dodge Charger and hit Riccioletti with such force, on Collins Avenue, that his body was thrown into a hotel driveway. Tomica then left the scene of the accident, leaving Riccioletti to die.
Up to this point, she had been out on a $10,000 bond, but on Friday, the state said, the bond should be increased to $75,000. The reason given by the state was that not only did she hit and kill Riccioletti but after she was followed by a Good Samaritan, the state claimed, "The defendant actively evaded the [Good Samaritan] and even made U-turns to attempt to lose the car following her."
Prosecutors also said, as she was driving away her windshield was cracked, and on that windshield there was blood from the victim. Prosecutor Warren Eth said, "It's just not driving drunk, it's just not speeding, it's hitting a human being and not caring." They also made an argument in court that the underage Tomica used a fake ID to drink.
The defense attorney for Tomica argued in court, "We cannot base this case on emotion." He noted that the standard bond for these charges was about $20,000.
Miami-Dade Judge Migna Sanchez Llorens said, "In life you make choices and you clearly made choices that night. You made choices to drink. It's indicated that your levels were beyond anything ordinary."
At the end of the day, the judge sided with the state and said Tomica should be taken back into custody. Her bond was indeed increased to $75,000. She will be placed on house arrest and she will be fitted with an ankle monitoring device.
The widow of Riccioletti hired famed attorney Jose Baez who said, "I want to let everyone know that we are very happy that the judge granted all the requests made by the prosecution today."
Defense Attorney Mark Shapiro said, "We respect the court's decision in this case, as we try to make clear this is an absolute horrible tragedy. Speaking on behalf of the entire Tomica family, they are devastated by this, and their hearts go out to the Riccioletti family."
Once Tomica is out the judge has ordered her not to drink any alcohol or go to any clubs or bars.
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