MIAMI
09/09/2013 11:25 am ET Updated Sep 09, 2013

Carlos Bertonatti To Be Sentenced In Rickenbacker Hit-And-Run That Killed Christophe LeCanne (VIDEO)

Carlos Bertonatti smashed into a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway, then drove nearly three miles with the man's mangled bicycle underneath his car.

His sentencing hearing began Monday morning.

"The truth is that this was a freak accident," Bertonatti told the court at an earlier hearing, during which he plead guilty to DUI manslaughter, among other charges, and apologized to the cyclist's family.

But Bertonatti didn't stop after striking Christophe LeCanne on Bear Cut Bridge one January morning in 2010, and a forcibly drawn blood alcohol test showed he was well over Florida's legal limit as he drove home from a night at Club Space.

LeCanne died by the side of the road, where according to Miami New Times witnesses told investigators Bertonatti was driving close to 70 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone.

Bertonatti, an aspiring pop singer from a wealthy Venezuelan family, had already racked up more than 40 driving violations for "everything from running a stop sign to driving without a license or insurance to skipping tolls and speeding," according to New Times. His license was suspended in 2009.

When police caught up with Bertonatti, he reportedly accused them of joking that LeCanne had been killed.

“He said this was a tragic accident. I don’t agree with that at all," LeCanne's brother Nicolas told CBS Miami before the sentencing. "He took several irresponsible decisions that day."

His attorneys, who argued Bertonatti's driving record is his brother's fault, had asked the judge to go below minimum sentencing guidelines because Bertonatti allegedly suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, reports the Miami Herald. Prosecutors asked for considerable prison time in a response, and Monday Bertonatti's attorneys withdrew his mental health claims.

“Mr. Christopher LeCanne did not need to die," prosecutor Warren Eth wrote in opposition, reports The Miami Herald. "He should have enjoyed the warm sun on his face, the cool breeze of the sea and the exhilaration of a wonderful bike ride. He should have been able to go home, see his wife, his children and speak to his father and family."

Despite not having a plea deal, Bertonatti plead guilty to all charges but leaving the scene of the crash. According to NBC Miami, he faces a maximum of 35 years behind bars.

One recent sentencing for a hit-and-run on the Rickenbacker angered the victim's family and bicycling advocates by highlighting a discrepancy in sentencing laws. Michele Traverso was sentenced to less than a year in jail for leaving Aaron Cohen to die on the bridge while he drove home to avoid blood tests and cover his smashed car with a tarp. The incident has led to the filing of the Aaron Cohen Law, which seeks to increase minimum sentencing guidelines so that drivers who flee to avoid DUI testing are not punished less than those who stop to help.

CONVERSATIONS