Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of a man charged in the fatal hit-and-run crash in southwest Miami-Dade that killed 13-year-old Kaely Camacho.
Sandor Guillen, 39, is facing charges including vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident in the April 13, 2012 crash. He has pleaded not guilty.
State prosecutor Laura Adams zeroed in on how Guillen allegedly fled the scene, as Kirk Camacho cared for his fatally injured daughter.
"And while he is holding his daughter and praying for her life, that coward ran away," Adams said.
Attorneys spent Tuesday selecting a jury of six people for the trial.
Kaely Camacho was killed when Guillen’s Land Rover struck her father’s minivan, ripping it in half on Southwest 184th Street, police said. After Guillen’s car rammed into a tree and spun five times, he fled on foot but was quickly caught, officials said.
Camacho was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where she later died. Camacho's father and sister, who were also in the car, survived the impact.
Guillen had a blood alcohol level of .266 in a test done a little more than an hour after the crash, according to authorities. A second test performed about an hour after the first test showed a blood alcohol level of .246, authorities said. Florida’s legal limit is .08.
On Wednesday defense attorney Bruce Lehr laying the groundwork for a tainted evidence defense. He claimed the investigator who mapped and measured the scene destroyed or tampered with the evidence.
“And then when he gets all of the exact measurements to the tenth of an inch,” Lehr said, ripping up a piece of paper and raising his voice, “he destroys the evidence. He destroys the measurements. You’re going to hear this."
Kirk Camacho fought back tears at times on the stand. He recounted the moment that took his daughter and forever changed his life.
"I basically saw what seemed like a flash and followed by sound that sounded like a bomb, and was struck – my car, the minivan pretty much tore in half," he said.
Since her death, Camacho's family has raised tens of thousands of dollars in her name for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She was also honored with a street naming in Palmetto Bay.