Brother Pleads Fifth in Carlos Bertonatti Trial Over Fatal DUI Crash With Cyclist

Sentencing continues Wednesday for Carlos Bertonatti, but a ruling is not immediately expected.

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013  |  Updated 5:21 PM EDT
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Miguel Bertonatti took the stand Wednesday in his brother Carlos Bertonatti's sentencing, but he invoked his fifth amendment right to remain silent.

Miguel Bertonatti took the stand Wednesday in his brother Carlos Bertonatti's sentencing, but he invoked his fifth amendment right to remain silent.

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Driver in Fatal Rickenbacker Crash Takes Back "Accident" Statement

The South Florida musician charged in the hit-and-run crash that killed a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway took back his use of the word "accident" to describe the incident on the first day of his sentencing hearing Monday. Carlos Bertonatti also apologized again to the family of victim Christopher LeCanne.

Carlos Bertonatti, Driver Charged in Fatal DUI Hit-and-Run, Pleads Guilty

Carlos Bertonatti looked straight into the faces of Christophe LeCanne's family Tuesday as he apologized for the hit-and-run crash that killed the cyclist. "The truth is that this was a freak accident and I'm really, really sorry," he said.
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The sentencing hearing for a South Florida musician involved in a deadly 2010 hit-and-run crash will continue Thursday, when the judge is expected to make a ruling.

Carlos Bertonatti, 32, faces a maximum of 35 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in the crash that killed cyclist Christophe LeCanne on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne.

Bertonatti's brother Miguel Bertonatti took the stand Wednesday, but invoked his right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment.

Miguel Bertonatti was expected to help his brother after he admitted Monday in court that he had secretly used his brother's identity when he received more than a dozen traffic citations over the years, according to The Miami Herald. Prosecutors were seeking to use Carlos Bertonatti's reckless driving history against him, the newspaper reported.

Instead, Miguel Bertonatti pleaded the Fifth Wednesday and broke into tears under questioning. Although he invoked his right to remain silent, he answered some questions from the defense, affirming he did not have a license between 2005 and 2013.

After his attorney asked to speak with him during questioning, Miguel Bertonatti began to plead the Fifth again.

Police say Carlos Bertonatti hit LeCanne, who was riding his bike in the bike lane, and drove off with LeCanne's bike still under his car for nearly three miles. His blood alcohol level was .122, over Florida's legal limit of .08, authorities later said.

Carlos Bertonatti -- charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest without violence -- pleaded guilty to every charge except leaving the scene of a crash.

The hearing will continue Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

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