On April 17, a Florida judge sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for running over another man with an SUV in Miami in 2017. A jury convicted the 25-year-old defendant of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash.

According to authorities, a fight broke out among a group of men in the parking lot of a Miami shopping plaza at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2017. A woman got caught up in the incident and was knocked down. A man sitting in a nearby SUV knew the woman and got out to assist her, leaving the vehicle’s engine running. At that moment, the defendant jumped behind the wheel of the SUV, put it into gear and drove into the group of people. The vehicle struck a 41-year-old man, throwing him into the air and causing him to land on a parking block. He was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center for emergency treatment, but he later succumbed to his injuries. All the other people in the group managed to jump out of the vehicle’s path. Following the collision, the defendant kept driving and fled the scene.

At the sentencing hearing, the defendant apologized to the victim’s family, saying he hoped they could eventually forgive him. The judge said she believed he was now remorseful, but she thought he had committed the crime out of anger and was not fearful for his life when he jumped behind the wheel. The defendant’s attorney plans to appeal the conviction.

Orlando, Florida, violent crimes defense lawyers could help defendants facing these types of charges. After reviewing the case, legal counsel could develop a strong defense and attempt to get the charges reduced or dropped.

Source: Local 10, “Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for fatal hit-and-run crash in Hialeah“, Liane Morejon, April 17, 2019