Prosecutors in hit-and-run case release witness accounts
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- The prosecution in the trial of the woman who struck and killed a renowned Miami Beach chef released more than 100 pages of new information, including crime scene photos and audiotapes of witness accounts, Friday.
Among the new evidence the State Attorney's Office presented in the case against 20-year-old bartender Karlie Tomica in the hit-and-run death of executive chef Stefano Riccioletti on Jan. 28 are testimonies from several witnesses, including the Good Samaritan who chased after the defendant.
Police said Tomica's alcohol blood level was three times the legal limit when she struck Riccioletti at the corner of Collins Avenue and 18th Street, right outside the Shore Club, in Miami Beach. Tomicam who has been charged with DUI manslaughter, remains under house arrest.
The newly released evidence prosecutors released includes a recorded statement a male witness gave to Miami Beach Police. "I saw this guy's body who I saw previously standing, flying across our driveway. The way he flew across the driveway, he kind of flew up in the air," the man told officials.
Authorities indicated that Jairo Fuentes, the driver who followed Tomica, caught up with her 40 blocks north of the accident. "She took the left lane and I took the right lane and she had her window down," said Fuentes in a recorded statement. "And then I kept screaming at her [that] she had to stop. She made a circle back south on Collins," he continued. Fuentes saw that the Dodge Charger she was driving had suffered severe damage.
Tomica eventually pulled over at a condo. A worker who spoke to her also gave authorities his account of events. "She sounded like was, like, calm, like, peaceful," the man observed. When asked by police whether Tomica's speech was slurred, the witness answered, "No, she only sounded a little bit worried."
Fuentes' account is critical to the state's case, because prosecutors will argue that Tomica tried to evade him when she saw him attempting to flag her down in traffic.
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