South Beach ‘party princess’ DUI suspect wants judge booted off case

 

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

The young woman accused of killing a South Beach chef in a hit-and-run car crash wants a judge booted from her case.

Lawyers for Karlie Tomica, 20, says Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens’ comment that Tomica “made choices to drink” created a “well-founded” fear that she will not receive a fair and impartial trial.

Attorneys in the case are slated to be appear before the judge Wednesday.

Sanchez-Llorens made the comment last month during a hearing in which she raised Tomica’s bond and placed her on house arrest.

Prosecutors say Tomica, driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, plowed into Stefano Riccioletti as the chef crossed Collins Avenue.

Tomica kept driving, ignoring a motorist who followed her, imploring her to pull over. The good Samaritan called police, who arrested Tomica at her Miami Beach condo, prosecutors said.

She refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, prosecutors said, and later fell asleep, snoring loudly, in a chair at the Miami Beach police station. The case of Tomica, who described herself as a “party princess” on Twitter, has drawn national headlines.

Tomica was originally charged with leaving the scene of an accident. When toxicology reports returned, prosecutors on Feb. 15 filed a formal DUI manslaughter charge.

At that hearing, Sanchez-Llorens raised the woman’s bond after hearing an account of the crash from prosecutors.

Defense attorney Mark Shapiro, in his motion, said the judge’s statements “demonstrate that the court has pre-judged her guilty.”

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