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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former soldier and US Army recruiter has been sentenced to over ten years in prison for killing a teenager while driving drunk.
Conan Acevedo, 42, had no reaction as Broward Judge Dennis Bailey handed down his sentence late Friday afternoon.
Before sentencing, Acevedo, a father of three gave a tearful apology to the family of 18-year-old Nicholas Garcia, who was killed 2 years ago in Margate.
Investigators say Acevedo was more than two times over the legal alcohol limit when he ran a red light on McNab Road and slammed into Garcia, pinning him behind the wheel.
Ironically, Acevedo said he recognized Garcia from recruiting sessions.
“I know you can’t forgive me but Ill spend the rest of my life trying,” Acevedo told Garcia’s family.
Through tears, Acevedo described trying to help Garcia after the crash but realized he couldn’t.
“I didn’t have the tools to cut off his seatbelt and I’m sorry” he explained to Garcia’s family.
Acevedo said he was glancing down at his phone when he went through the intersection and broadsided Garcia.
Looking at a maximum sentence of 17 years, Acevedo’s family asked for mercy noting that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his years serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that at the time of the crash he learned that his marriage was ending.
They said Acevedo self-medicated with alcohol.
But the friends and family of Nicholas Garcia told the judge they grieve their loss every day and Acevedo deserved harsh punishment.
“He deserves to be put away,” said one friend. Who knows if he will do it again.”
After prison, the judge ordered Acevedo to serve 50 months probation and revoked his driver’s license for life.