Judge Denies Bond Reduction For Accused Wrong Way Wreck Driver
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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A girl accused of causing a deadly wrong way wreck on the Sawgrass Expressway last year, appeared before a judge Thursday asking to have her bond reduced.
Judge David Haimes told Kayla Mendoza that he was not going to reduce her bond for several reasons including the severity of the accident she is accused of causing.
The families of her victim's, Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio, said the judge's decision came as a relief.
CLICK HERE To Watch Carey Codd's Report
Mendoza wiped away her tears as her attorney asked Judge Haimes to reduce her bond.
Mendoza's bond on the eight criminal charges stemming from the drunk driving accident that claimed the lives of Ferrante and Catronio in November 2013 stands at $600-thousand dollars.
"All she's asking is the ability to spend some time with her family," said Mendoza's Attorney John Trevena.
Trevena argued that Mendoza's injuries from the accident require care that she cannot receive in jail.
"I broke my left leg and my right leg, I shattered," said Mendoza.
Prosecutor Michael Horowitz said Mendoza has been adequately cared for and the people she would live with on bond have issues of their own. Plus, he cited Mendoza's pattern of underage drinking and marijuana use.
"She still poses a danger to the community," said Horowitz.
Judge Haimes denied Mendoza's request meaning her bond remains at $600-thousand dollars.
Her attorney said Mendoza accepts responsibility but that she was victimized by a work supervisor who allowed her to drink at a company function and then allowed her to try and drive home.
"You have a young woman who is left curbside by her store manager and left to fend for herself. So to me, she's a victim as much as the other two young girls are," said Trevena.
CBS4's Carey Codd saw Mendoza's grief during a deposition she gave in the civil case against her employer and the restaurant where she drank.
"If I could take my life and that would bring Kaitlyn and Marisa back, I would do that in second," said Mendoza. "I apologize to the girls every single night. I just pray to them and I say please just help your parents understand that I didn't mean for this to happen."
The apology does little for the victim's families who don't believe Mendoza is a victim and want her to remain in jail.
"Our daughters can't have time with us, so why should she have time with her family? Remorseful or not," said Ferrante's mother Christine Ferrante.
Mendoza's attorney said she understands she will likely spend time in prison for the crime.
The attorneys said in court that plea negotiations have not yet begun but that they are likely in this case.
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