The family of the victims of a fatal wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade in 2015 were in court Tuesday expecting the driver responsible to plead guilty but instead learned some charges were dropped.
Franklin Chavez is charged in the December 2015 crash that killed 23-year-old Carmen Criales and left her brother Bryan severely injured.
"I'm in so much pain about that because my kid is so much suffering the pain. When you see a big son, beautiful, handsome, strong and now you see I have to clean his butt, I have to put in the chair, I have to feed him," father Noel Criales said. "It's gonna be forever until I die. Miracles, we don't know. He's gonna talk, we don't know. He gonna have a normal life, we don't know. The only thing we know is he destroyed by family completely. He killed my daughter and he messed my son life completely and now we are suffering."
Chavez was in court Tuesday, sitting directly across from the victims' family. He was initially facing seven charges but left with only three after prosecutors dropped all DUI-related charges.
"This was at no point a DUI manslaughter. I believed from the beginning that this case was overcharged. Ultimately the state now agrees that this was overcharged," said Chavez's attorney, Andrew Parks.
Noel Criales left court outraged and blamed police for the technicality.
"The end of the report is very clear they guess he was so drunk. But unfortunately they took the blood eight hours after he was treated with an IV in the hospital," he said. "There should be no sentence. It should be the max sentence because he killed my daughter plus he messed my son's life. What I say is he definitely was drunk, completely."
A plea is expected later this month, with sentencing set for July.