‘Act Like A Grown Up’: Judge To Woman Accused Of Running Over Principal

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Marilyn Aguilera told a Miami-Dade judge Friday she understood what she had done when, in a drunken stupor, she careened onto a baseball field near the turnpike last April running over popular south Dade High Principal Javier Perez, causing him to lose both his legs.

Aguilera was in court to accept a plea agreement Friday, that would see her serve four years in state prison followed by a period of house arrest and probation.

“I am totally and fully aware, and accept the plea and accept the guilt,” Aguilera told the judge.

But as the hearing went on, Aguilera wavered. It was revealed that she was taking medication for bipolar disorder. She rambled at times.

Javier Perez was in the court room with his wife, watching the proceedings as Judge Diane Ward became visibly agitated with Aguilera’s behavior.

“I don’t know about this,” Judge Ward said. The judge appeared angry with the defendant at times.

“Act like a grown-up,” Judge Ward ordered Aguilera at one point.

Aguilera responded with a litany of complaints about her previous attorney.

Assistant State Attorney Laura Adams cut her off, saying “this plea agreement does not have to stay on the table.”

“I think we just need to give it a trial date,” Judge Ward said. “I’m not taking a plea on this case. I’m sorry.”

Both the defense and prosecution got it.

“I think the judge, and she had every right to, got frustrated because Marilyn could not express herself the way she should have,” defense attorney Ana Divide said.

“Clearly, the judge, when the opportunity was there to accept the plea, the judge found the defendant’s actions unacceptable,” said Ed Griffith, a spokesperson for the state attorneys office.

Aguilera left the courthouse, declining to talk to reporters.

Javier Perez, still waiting for prosthetic legs, left the courthouse still waiting for Justice.

Aguilera, in angering the judge and blowing the plea agreement, may have rolled the judicial dice. If convicted at trial she faces a possible seven years in the state penitentiary.

Javier Perez, known for his resilience and perseverance, has prompted a slogan in the community, “Javi strong.” After Friday’s aborted hearing, he managed to smile and chat with prosecutors before leaving without talking with reporters. Perez has had several high profile media events, including news conferences since the accident. He threw out the first pitch at a Marlins baseball game last year.

More from Gary Nelson
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