A Miami woman lost her pre-arranged plea agreement when she showed up to court late.
It didn’t help that the accident she caused left a popular principal as an amputee.
Clip via WPLG
Miami-Dade County Judge Diane Ward threw out a plea deal and ordered a trial in the matter when defendant Marilyn Aguilera sauntered into the courtroom hours later to enter the agreement on the record, leaving the alleged drunk driver in tears, according to ABC Miami affiliate WPLG 10 News.
The April 26, 2016 accident left South Dade Senior High School principal Javier Perez with both his legs amputated and another person, Elias Espinoza, also suffering injuries. WPLG reported:
The judge initially didn’t sign off on the deal because of concern about medication that Aguilera said she took in the morning.
As part of the deal, Aguilera would have pleaded guilty to three counts of DUI and would have been sentenced to four years in prison.
She would also have been sentenced to a year of house arrest following her release and two years of probation.
Aguilera struck both victims attending a children’s baseball game at a West Kendall park while intoxicated, according to the police report.
Last week Aguilera hired childhood friend attorney Ana Davidea who agreed to represent her pro bono.
“This is unusual because she couldn’t pay her other lawyer,” Davide said after a hearing on Monday. “Because she’s unemployed, she’s a single mom and has no money.”
Apart from being late to court, Aguilera’s in-court admission that she took medication on the morning of the hearing prompted Ward to question her about the drugs’ side effects.
Davide also responded to reporters on that issue.
“I would never have advised her, I’m not a doctor. I’m a criminal defense attorney. That’s not my job,” Davide said. “Unfortunately, today was a disaster. You know, she’s a mess and there’s no excuse for this behavior at all.”
“These people have been sitting in this courtroom for hours,” Ward told Aguilera earlier in the proceedings when the defendant showed up hours late. “Act like a grownup.”
Prosecutor Laura Adams appeared just as displeased as the judge, especially when Aguilera began criticizing her former lawyer and asked about leaving prison early.
“Ms. Aguilera does not have to accept this plea,” Adams said. “No. I just think we have to give it a trial date. I am not interested in negotiating with a person that wants to do what she is doing.”
The plea agreement was a below-guidelines offer, according to Adams, because the victims wanted closure and were compassionate.
“They’re people that want closure to this very painful chapter in their lives,” Adams said, who added that no further plea deals will be entertained.
Aguilera now faces as much as a seven-year prison sentence if convicted. She left the courtroom in tears.
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