MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A young Florida International University student has pleaded guilty to running over two federal agents on Miami Beach, then taking off. One of those agents died days later.
“I know my actions have caused a lot of pain and suffering for a lot of people. I am here to take responsibility for it. I just want to apologize to the families that I’ve hurt. I’m truly sorry,” she told the court.
Through tears, Jordana Rosales pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death and reckless driving. Two related DUI manslaughter charges were dropped as part of her plea agreement with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Rosales, 23, pleaded guilty because she felt it was the best thing to do.
She apologized to the family of Homeland Security Investigations Agent Scott McGuire moments before the judge accepted her plea.
McGuire died days after the January 15, 2016 tragedy.
His widow said outside the courtroom that they just want closure. “I’m super anxious. It’s been almost two years. I’m just looking for closure and to move on. He was an amazing human being. He was an amazing father. He didn’t deserve what happened and don’t even have words to explain how amazing he was,” said Susie Rivera who was standing next to the couple’s young son. “He loved his job.”
Initially Rosales told investigators she was never on South Beach and the damage to her car was from a tree. Friends in the car that night though said otherwise.
“This is a really hard case. A fine young man lost his life. And wonderful young student also had hers crushed,” said Rosales’ attorney Juan Gonzalez. “I’m not sure the criminal justice system is prepared to deal with something like this. We are going to do the best we can lessen the pain for everyone else.”
McGuire’s widow said Rosales’ apology in open court didn’t mean a whole lot.
“It’s just words at this point. It’s just words. It’s choices that were made. Bad choices. And it’s just words right now,” said Rivera.
“Nothing can bring Scott back. No matter how many years she got,” said McGuire’s mother Dayonne McGuire.
Rosales did not talk to the media. She continues to wear an ankle monitor and remains on house arrest until her sentencing on November 29.
She faces a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 50 years.
If convicted at trial, she could have faced life in prison.