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Jury Trial Begins For Miami Man Charged In DUI Manslaughter Death

A jury has been selected and opening statements are slated to begin in the trial of a man accused of killing a 13-year old girl in a 2012 DUI manslaughter crash.

The man is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death after he reportedly fled after striking the victim’s family’s minivan.

The accused, a 39-year old Miami-Dade County man, is alleged to have been driving his Land Rover under the influence of alcohol on April 13, 2012. He is accused of striking the victim’s family’s minivan and then fleeing the scene on foot.

About an hour after the accident, the accused’s blood-alcohol level was measured at .266. The legal limit in Florida is .08.

The evidence against the accused is strong and I expect a guilty verdict. The defense will likely employ the use of expert testimony which will try to explain something known as “retrograde extrapolation.” This means that the expert will testify that the defendant’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash was below a .08 and that his body was absorbing alcohol at the time. An hour after the crash, the .266 reading reflects his BAC after his body had absorbed alcohol.

I am just speculating that the defense will use this method given the fact that so much of the evidence seems to favor the state.

If convicted, the accused faces a maximum of 30 years in prison with a mandatory minimum term of 4 years.

Eric Matheny is a Miami and Broward DUI attorney who assists clients with DUI, hit-and-run, and DUI manslaughter cases.