Aspiring pop singer Carlos Bertonatti was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for a DUI hit-and-run that killed a cyclist on Miami's Rickenbacker Causeway, NBC6 reports.
Bertonatti pled guilty without a plea deal to the 2010 crash, after which he drove for nearly three miles with Christophe LeCanne's bicycle wedged under his car. LeCanne died at the scene; moments later Bertonatti reportedly insisted officers who pulled him over were joking, then had to be forcibly restrained for a blood alcohol test.
Among factors considered by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Bronwyn Miller was Bertonatti's lengthy history of bad driving, which as first reported by Miami New Times stretched to some 40 violations for "everything from running a stop sign to driving without a license or insurance to skipping tolls and speeding."
But the sentencing hearing, which began Monday, took a bizarre twist when according to the Miami Herald Bertonatti's brother Miguel told the court he had stolen his brother's identity and was responsible for more than a dozen of Bertonatti's previous traffic citations, including one just days before the crash that killed LeCanne and for which Carlos Bertonatti had pled guilty.
The delayed sentencing was finally issued Wednesday morning after another day of testimony during which Miguel Bertonatti invoked his 5th amendment rights on the stand, prompting the question of the citations to be dropped, according to WSVN.
Bertonatti's defense lawyers asked for four years in prison, according to Local10, while prosecutors requested an 18-year sentence, about half the maximum.
Bertonatti showed "not one iota of remorse," Assistant State Attorney Warren Eth told the court. "He showed contempt for the entire legal process. Mr. Bertonatti thinks he is above the law. He will do whatever it takes to protect himself."
This is a breaking news story and may be updated.