The 20-year-old woman charged with DUI manslaughter in a South Beach chef’s death wants to be able to leave house arrest to go to church, her attorney says.
Mark Shapiro, the defense attorney for Karlie Tomica, presented Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens with a motion on the matter in court on Tuesday.
“Ms. Tomica is requesting that she be permitted to attend Sunday morning religious services at St. Patrick’s Church,” Shapiro said of his client, who did not attend the hearing.
Tomica also faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death, DUI property damage and resisting arrest without violence in connection with a Jan. 28 crash outside the Shelborne Hotel at 1801 Collins Ave. According to police, Tomica’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when she struck and killed Shore Club hotel chef Stefano Riccioletti, 49, with a 2007 Dodge 4-door, before she drove to her apartment on the 5600 block of Collins Avenue.
Shapiro said Tomica’s supervising house arrest officer did not object to the church proposal. Tomica would have to travel about 20 blocks from to get from her apartment to St. Patrick Catholic Church, which is also in Miami Beach. She currently takes the bus to get to school because she has been prohibited from driving by the court and no longer has a driver’s license, Shapiro said.
Shapiro requested a block of time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for Tomica to go to church. Sanchez-Llorens said she was concerned whether it would take Tomica an hour and a half to get there and come back.
Shapiro said he would return with more specifics on the timing, and the judge said she would reserve ruling on the issue until she gets those specifics.
On Tuesday the defense, prosecution and judge agreed to push back the discovery process for the case. They are due back in court for a status hearing Aug. 26.
“Karlie is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” Shapiro said about his client out of the courtroom. “She continues to comply with all the restrictions that the court imposed earlier this year.”
He indicated that he expects Tomica will be given permission to travel to church.
“We don’t anticipate that anyone’s going to object to Ms. Tomica attending religious services,” Shapiro said.