Karlie Tomica, Alleged Driver in Fatal Miami Beach Hit-and-Run, Files Motion to Disqualify Judge

Motion claims judge won't give 20-year-old fair and impartial trial

Monday, Mar 4, 2013  |  Updated 9:48 PM EDT
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The motion, filed on behalf of Karlie Tomica, said remarks made by Miami-Dade Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens during a hearing last month show the judge has reached a

The motion, filed on behalf of Karlie Tomica, said remarks made by Miami-Dade Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens during a hearing last month show the judge has reached a "pre-judgment of guilt" in the case, in which Tomica is charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, DUI property damage and resisting arrest without violence.

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Karlie Tomica, Alleged Driver in Fatal Miami Beach Hit-and-Run, Charged With DUI Manslaughter

The 20-year-old woman who is accused of striking and killing a pedestrian in Miami Beach before fleeing the scene was formally charged with DUI manslaughter in the man's death Friday. NBC 6 reporter Hank Tester has the story.

Karlie Tomica Ignored 911 Caller Who Tried To Stop Her: Prosecutors

Newly released documents from the State Attorney's Office say that a 911 caller tried to stop Karlie Tomica, the driver accused of a Miami Beach hit-and-run death, but she ignored him while he followed her home. Jose Baez, the attorney for the family of victim Stefano Riccioletti, spoke about the case. Tomica is currently in Port St. Lucie on house arrest.
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Attorneys for the 20-year-old woman accused of striking and killing a pedestrian in Miami Beach and fleeing the scene filed a motion to disqualify the judge in the case Monday claiming concern she won't receive a fair and impartial trial.

The motion, filed on behalf of Karlie Tomica, said remarks made by Miami-Dade Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens during a hearing last month show the judge has reached a "pre-judgment of guilt" in the case, in which Tomica is charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, DUI property damage and resisting arrest without violence.

Witness Accounts, Photos Released in Miami Beach Hit-and-Run Case

"The Court's prejudgment of the Defendant's guilt creates a well-founded fear in the mind of the Defendant that she will not receive a fair and impartial trial from this Court," the motion said.

Tomica had previously only been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death in the Jan. 28 crash outside the Shelborne Hotel at 1801 Collins Avenue.

Police say Tomica was behind the wheel of a 2007 Dodge 4-door when she struck and killed 49-year-old Stefano Riccioletti, a chef at the Shore Club hotel. Rather than stay at the scene, she drove to her apartment in the 5600 block of Collins Avenue, police said.

Tomica Ignored 911 Caller Who Tried to Stop Her: Prosecutors

Miami Beach Police later said Tomica's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

She was arrested and later released on $10,000 bond. At the February hearing, Sanchez-Llorens raised Tomica's bond to $77,000 and told her she "made choices to drink" the night of the crash.

"In life you make choices and you clearly made choices that night, you made choices to drink, you made choices at this point in time," Sanchez-Llorens said, before mentioning her alleged blood alcohol level. "I mean, it's indicated that your levels were beyond anything ordinary."

Tomica's attorneys say Sanchez-Llorens' conclusions that Tomica was drinking and her alleged blood alcohol level were based on the prosecutor's word and without presentation of evidence.

Tomica is currently out on bail and on house arrest.

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