A Weston man recently pleaded guilty to killing a pedestrian last year while driving drunk. Bryce Samartino, 23, pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter in the death of 66-year-old Elourdes Ostange, a mother of 10.
In exchange for entering a plea, as opposed to taking his case to trial, he was given the minimum mandatory sentence of four years in prison. An attorney representing the victim’s family said her survivors expressed their wishes for leniency to prosecutors because this was “a tragedy for everyone involved.”
Although four years is still a substantial amount of time, per F.S. 316.193, the charge of DUI manslaughter carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence – which means the outcome could have been much worse for the defendant. The case is an example of how the express wishes of the victims, as well as other mitigating factors, can play a role in sentencing. This is true whether you choose to enter a plea deal or take your Broward criminal case to trial. Continue reading