Guillen Found Guilty On All Counts For Death Of Kaely Camacho
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sandor Guillen has been found guilty of DUI manslaughter and two other charges for the death of 13-year-old Kaely Camacho.
The jury deliberated more than two hours and asked a question of the judge during deliberations Monday afternoon. The unanimous verdict convicted Guillen of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Guillen was extremely calm as the verdict was being read. He had spent time before the verdict was read hugging and kissing his family members, according to CBS4’s Brian Andrews.
Guillen was taken into custody after the jury’s verdict was announced around 4:20 p.m. His defense team asked for bond before sentencing, but Judge Ellen Venzer denied the request saying the fact that Guillen showed up an hour late to court Monday gave her “great pause.”
When the verdict was read, Kaely’s sister, Bree Anne, wept as did Kaely’s mother Angie who was was relieved, heartbroken and angry.
“Not only did we have to live with this once, but having to go through this all over again this trial is bringing up a lots of painful memories, all because someone won’t take responsibility,” said Angela Camacho. “It’s been really, really hard.”
Kirk Camacho, Kaely’s father who was driving the van, spoke following the verdict. Guillen claimed that Kaely’s father had taken the red light–but the jury didn’t believe him.
“Thank God justice prevailed,” said Kirk Camacho. With the cameras present, he also took the time to thank Mothers Against Drunk Driving, prosecutors, the officers involved, as well as the jury.
Kaely’s sister Bree Ann wants the accident that took her sister’s life to be a lesson for all.
“This is an example to all of you out there to never get behind the wheel while impaired. I lost my sister—we all lost somebody,” said Bree Ann. “Unfortunately that family, the Guillen family, has to say goodbye to their son as they take him away—that’s not something I wanted. I just wanted justice and mistakes to be learned from.”
Bruce Lehr, Guillen’s attorney, said he was “very confident we can appeal it–it’s one of his rights. As to what the appellate court does I never guess what a court’s going to do.”
The conviction came after just three days of testimony. The state rested its case Friday and the defense called just two witnesses during the trial.
Toxicologist Dr. Lisa Reidy testified during the trail that Guillen’s blood alcohol level of 0.26 was more than three times the legal limit when he slammed into the Camacho’s minivan on April 13, 2012. Guillen was also illegally driving in the Miami-Dade busway when the accident happened.
Guillen claimed he had the green light at the intersection, but Miami-Dade traffic engineer Hiram Hernandez testified that wasn’t possible. He said sensors on the busway won’t give a bus or other vehicle the green if it’s going more than 15 miles per hour, otherwise there is a 55-second delay before the light turns green.
The jury’s question on Monday afternoon related to a possible green light at the intersection.
Prosecutors said Guillen was not only drunk, but also driving more than 80 mph at the time of the accident.
The Camacho’s minivan was ripped in half by the force of the impact, and Guillen’s SUV then rammed a tree, spun five times and came to rest nearly half the length of a football field away.
Traffic homicide investigators also took the stand Thursday whose work the defense tried to attack.
Defense attorney Bruce Lehr accused Det. Oscar Perez of destroying his original notes on the accident scene. Perez countered that he converted his original work into a diagram drawn to scale, a much more accurate presentation than the rough sketches he made by hand at the scene.
Traffic homicide Detective David Greenwell showed jurors photos of Guillen’s demolished Range Rover, the Camacho’s van ripped in half, and the blood covered seat where Kaely was fatally injured.
Not only did Guillen fail to call 911 or try to help the Camachos, but he stumbled away, ditching his IDs in a clump of bushes. Lehr, acknowledged that the collision occurred. But he said Guillen, a physical therapy assistant from Coral Gables, was severely injured and disoriented after the wreck.
Guillen faces up to 30 years in prison for his crimes. He rejected a plea deal before the trial. No date has been given for his sentencing.