MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The verdict is in for a North Miami DJ, charged with DUI manslaughter.
On Friday afternoon, jurors found Ervens Prudent guilty on all charges including vehicular manslaughter and DUI manslaughter for the deaths of Marlon Gutierrez and Maria Martinez.
The two were sitting in their Toyota Corolla slowly stopping at the red light at the intersection of Le Jeune and SW 8th Street in Coral Gables, back in June of 2013 when Prudent slammed into them.
The impact caused their car to burst into flames and shatter into pieces.
It also led Prudent to fly into his windshield, requiring more than a dozen staples in his scalp and more than two years of rehabilitation.
Prudent says, that night, he attended a wedding at the Coral Gables country club after working a double shift at a Miami Beach restaurant and running errands after work. On his way home from the wedding, after drinking a vodka sprite and two glasses of champagne he says he fell asleep.
“Once I made the right turn and I started driving and then from then on I don’t know what happened. I dozed off,” he testified on Thursday.
Prosecutor Lara Penn pressed him, “How do you know you fell asleep?” she asked.
“Because I don’t remember what happened,” responded Prudent.
Penn continued, “You’re calling that a fall asleep.”
“That’s what it is,” insisted Prudent.
The prosecutor pointed out that he was honking his horn and passing vehicles seconds before he slammed into the victims at full speed.
Defense attorney Ed O’Donnell pointed out that five blocks before the tragedy, at Douglas Road and Southwest 8th Street, witnesses saw he ran another red light- asserting he was slumped over on the gas pedal.
Prudent also said he has never forgotten that his actions took the lives of two people, whose loved ones packed the courtroom during his trial.
Prudent’s blood alcohol content was nearly double the legal limit. He says that was due to lack of food in his system, not intoxication.