MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A 19-year-old Key Biscayne man who was behind the wheel of Porsche during a New Year’s Day wreck that killed his teenage passenger was sentenced Friday during an emotional courtroom hearing.
Isaias Medina was sentenced to four years in prison, one year community control, 10 years probation and a lifetime driver’s license ban. He was 17 at the time of the accident.
Circuit Judge Ivonne Cuesta said while the defendant showed remorse and this was an isolated incident. She also said he was reckless, going twice the speed limit and had illegal substances in his system.
Medina apologized in court, an apology which was accepted by the mother of Daniela Benavides Sanmiguel.
As Medina shed tears, he said, “This is something that I am deeply sorry about. There is an emptiness in my heart and I feel remorse and sadness. I think about this over and over again. If I could ease the family’s pain, I would. If I change the actions I took I would. I would like to do everything I could to serve Daniela’s loved ones. I am deeply sorry.”
The victim’s mother, Juana Sanmiguel also testified, saying of her daughter, “I miss her from the bottom of my heart. She was my little girl. I miss her text messages. I miss the memories. This is the biggest challenge of my life. I hope that justice for my daughter will be served.”
In a dramatic moment, she turned towards Medina and said “I don’t feel hatred for you.”
The judge rejected a defense proposal that Medina be required to go to boot camp instead of serve a prison term.
After the sentence, the victim’s step-father Karl Lippert told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “The process has run its course and we accept that. We just feel satisfied. There was remorse and justice in this case.”
Juana Sanmiguel said, “I just want to say that I am pleased by what happened here and I just hope he can get some help with his life. That’s how I feel. She did mean too much to me but you just have to keep going.”
Daniela, who was a freshman at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles and Gulliver Prep School grad, was killed in the crash that New Year’s Day.
Investigators say Medina was driving at least 60 mph — twice the posted speed limit.
Grainy surveillance footage, taken from a home near the crash site, showed that the Porsche driven by Medina did not slow down but actually accelerated as it went through a curve.
Medina also did not have a driver’s license.
At the scene, police detectives found a blood-smeared bag containing a Xanax bar — the often abused prescription drug — and marijuana, according to the warrant. A toxicology test later revealed that his blood contained Xanax and a high concentration of marijuana that suggested he has smoked between one and three hours before the crash, according to an arrest warrant. But Medina was not accused of driving under the influence.