Man who struck, killed cyclist sentenced to 12 years
MIAMI (WSVN) -- After three days of tearful testimony, the man who struck and killed a cyclist in 2010 learned his fate, Thursday morning.
A judge sentenced 32-year-old Carlos Bertonatti to 12 years in state prison after pleading guilty in February to DUI manslaughter in related charges in the killing of 44-year-old Christopher Lecanne.
In 2010, Bertonatti was driving drunk when he struck and killed the cyclist on the Bear Cut Bridge.
The sentence follows three days of testimony where the prosecution portrayed the once-aspiring musician as a selfish and reckless driver. "He's dragging a bike under his car," said prosecutor Warren Eth. "I need to get home. I may have hurt my car. He doesn't care."
The defense fought the allegations of a reckless driving past by saying dozens of the traffic citations on Bertonatti's record actually belong to his brother Miguel Bertonatti who used his license.
However, while on the stand Wednesday, Miguel broke down and did not take the fault. "I refuse to answer any questions under my Fifth Amendment," said Miguel Bertonatti.
"Even with a brother discount, his driving record is horrendous," said Eth.
A remorseful Bertonatti fought back tears in court saying, "I had too much to drink. I very irresponsibly got behind the wheel of my car. I blacked out and hit a man and left him on the side of the road."
Even though Bertonatti's defense lawyers were seeking the minimum mandatory four-year sentence, Bertonatti was sentenced to 12 years in state prison. "When everybody in this courthouse gets four to five years for this type of crime and Carlos Bertonatti gets 12, I find that patently unfair," said defense attorney Robert Pertierra. "I don't understand the court's ruling. We will appeal the court's ruling."
"The Lecanne family is going to be pleased that at last they can put their son to rest, and they can move on," said Eth. "Just don't drink and drive. This is 100 percent preventable."
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