FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A mother’s anguish was on full display inside a Broward County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

She wanted the driver who hit and killed her daughter then ran away, to spend significant time in prison but a judge said he could not fulfill her wish.

Katherine Diaz walked to the witness stand carrying the ashes of her daughter Yanelle Lucero.

She was 5-years old when she was hit and killed while riding her tricycle in Fort Lauderdale in March 2012.

Erik Garcia who is accused of driving the truck that hit Lucero and drove off, pleaded guilty in court throwing himself on the judge’s mercy.

Diaz asked the judge to show him none.

“He had the opportunity to make a right decision and didn’t care to avoid this tragedy,” said Diaz.

Garcia apologized for his actions and pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and not having a valid driver’s license but Judge Marc Gold said there wasn’t enough evidence to give Garcia a lengthy sentence.

Instead Garcia was given a 30-month sentence and credit for 24 months he’s already served.

Diaz said that is not fair to her daughter’s memory.

“I’m definitely not happy at all for someone to receive thirty months prison for taking away the life of my daughter. That’s not what I expected at all,” said Diaz.

The judge said that Garcia is not likely to be free in the United States anytime soon. Garcia has an immigration hold on him, meaning he will likely be deported as soon as he finishes serving his sentence.


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