Watch CBS News

Driver Who Killed Pregnant Woman Sentenced

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) -- A woman convicted in a DUI manslaughter in which a pregnant woman and her unborn son died was sentenced Friday.

The judge sentenced Rosa Rivera Kim to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years probation for the deaths of Alanna DeMella and her unborn son Joshua.

Judge Bernard Bober reserved the right to modify the sentence within the next 6 months in the event of complications resulting from Rivera Kim's pregnancy. She is currently 5 months along.

According to investigators, Rivera Kim had been drinking before crashing into a poolside cabana at the Riverside Hotel. DeMella was inside.

Sobbing on the stand on Friday, Rivera apologized to DeMella's family.

Rivera admitted she was drunk behind the wheel. Blood alcohol tests show Rivera's level was .24%, three times over the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Alanna and her husband Michael were visiting from Boston in March 2012 after winning a trip to South Florida through their church.

Michael DeMella spoke at the sentencing Friday.

"I was robbed to witness her as a mother and have a family with her," he said.

According to, DeMella was a third grade teacher's assistant who worked with special education students at an elementary school in Arlington, Mass. On her Twitter page she described herself as "a wife, teacher and follower of Jesus."

"There are still days when it hits me and it almost takes my breath away. Nothing compares to the pain of burying your child. And in the case of ours, a grandchild," Alanna's mother, Paula Masterson, said. "Rosa Rivera Kim it's amazing how one person can make so many poor decisions and now we have to live with them."

"I pray for them and I pray for you guys to forgive me for what happened," said Rivera Kim on the stand Friday.

Rivera Kim does not remember the crash that killed Demella and the unborn child.  Two psychologists said she has post traumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personalities.  She began treatment in 2003.  The psychologists said her condition caused her to hear voices, cut herself, drink and black out -- losing chunks of time, like on the day of the crash.

"She horrified that these two people died and that whether she recollects the incident, whether she knew what was happening at the time or not that it was by her hand," said Psychologist Dr. Steven Gold.

Prosecutors pointed out she was able to remember everything about that day except drinking.

"When she remembers all these events but doesn't remember the .24 alcohol level, that she tells you about, I mean, do you question her memory about these events," said Prosecutor Michael Horowitz.

The defense attorney had hoped Rivera Kim could deliver her baby before beginning to serve out her sentence, but the judge ordered her taken into custody immediately.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.