DUI Manslaughter Suspect Yanks Bid To Attend Winter Music Conf.
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ivanna Villanueva, the University of Miami student accused of DUI Manslaughter, asked for permission through her attorney to fulfill community service hours at the Ultra Music Festival in Bayfront Park. Hours later, after a torrent of outrage was directed at the teen over what was seen an insensitive act, her attorney withdrew the motion and apologized.
Originally, her attorney said she would be cooking with The Cordon Bleu to satisfy her community service requirement. The state raised an opposition saying it’s inappropriate for her to attend a festival considering the charges she is facing, a hit and run incident which left a grandmother dead.
Documents showed that the Villanueva, 19, was supposed to be the designated driver that night.
In a hand-written statement Ivanna Villanueva submitted to Coral Gables Police, she wrote that “it was my day as the designated driver.” But Villanueva’s toxicology report showed that she had nearly triple the legal limit of alcohol in her system.
The document is dated October 2nd, 2011 – the same night Villanueva was involved in a crash that killed a grandmother.
The woman who died in the crash – 68-year-old Eyder Ayala – has since been buried in Nicaragua.
Anwar Sadeek, the son-in-law of the victim, was in court and gave said his family was shocked the motion was even being considered. The family’s attorney, Paul Layne, said the festival is known for its alcohol use.
The judge said he would consider the motion if the defense attorney could provide the name of a person who will be supervising Villanueva as she completes her community service hours. The judge will make a final ruling on March 20, but late Friday afternoon, attorney David Markus told CBS4 that he had withdrawn the motion made on behalf of his client.
“We never intended to upset the family and we apologize,” Markus said in an e-mail to CBS4 News.
Villanueva is currently under house arrest and she is allowed to continue to attend classes at the University of Miami pending her trial.
Villanueva faces a vehicular homicide charge, DUI manslaughter and a felony for allegedly carrying a false driver’s license. If convicted she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The accident occurred at the intersection of LeJeune Road and Majorca Avenue. Police say Villanueva was driving at a high rate of speed when she slammed into Ayala’s car.
Ayala, a mother to five and grandmother to seven, died at the scene.
Ayala’s family said they got worried when she didn’t come home from work at the McDonalds at SW 42nd Avenue and 9th Street where she’s worked for more than 20 years as a manager.
Ayala’s family has sued Villanueva and her father, saying he is liable for her conduct. The multi-million dollar lawsuit said she was “speeding, negligent and reckless.”