Florida Man Who Killed 3 in Crash Will Only Serve 10 Days in Jail: 'I Feel Disrespected,' Says Victim's Mom
He was sentenced to serve a night in jail every year on the anniversary of the crash for a decade.
Family members of crash victims killed when a Florida man drove the wrong way on a road criticized the judge’s sentence.
Erick Betancourt, 24, was sentenced to spend one night in jail each year on the anniversary of the crash for the next decade, totaling 10 nights.
In 2014, Betancourt drove the wrong direction in the northbound lanes of Krome Avenue, eventually slaming into another vehicle, killing 20-year-old Gabriel Hernandez, Anthony Rodriguez, 22, and Betancourt's own sister, Gisele Betancourt, 15, who was in the car with him.
Betancourt pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular manslaughter.
The lack of jail time for Betancourt has angered some of the victims’ families. Rita Marti, the mother of Rodriguez, told ABC News she was stunned by the sentence.
“I feel disrespected and my son’s memory was disrespected for the judge to come up with that," Marti said. "Three lives were lost and he tried to pose it as an accident."
Marti added that individuals need to pay for their mistakes and she feels the case “sets a precedent for future reckless driving cases.”
Betancourt’s lawyer, Jonathan Schwartz, pointed out that Betancourt was 19 at the time of the crash, saying the judge made the right decision.
There has been no evidence that Betancourt was drinking or impaired at the time of the crash, reports said.
“The proper sentence, in this case, did not involve putting this 19-year-old child in jail when it was not clear if he was being reckless,” Schwartz told ABC News.
Betancourt's family praised the sentence, saying it was enough that he has to live with killing his own sister and the two other men.
The 24-year-old also has to volunteer, clean the victims’ memorials and speak at driver’s education classes as he serves his 10-year probation.
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