VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 25-year-old woman won't serve any prison time for killing two people in a hit-and-run crash six years ago.
A Volusia County judge convicted Rita Carter of leaving the scene after crashing into engaged couple, Javi Remonsanzol and Allison Sellers.
As part of her probation, she will have to speak at every high school in the county at least once a year to talk about her actions.
Before the judge announced Carter’s sentence on Friday, nine people spoke about her character.
“Her sadness and remorse were obvious. I’d say, ‘Smile Rita,’ and she just couldn’t,” said Carter’s grandmother, Emily Shaw.
The families of the victims believe Carter receives special treatment because her father is an assistant state attorney in Seminole County.
Three years after she was arrested, a judge tossed out evidence alleging Carter was drunk, saying she never consented to be tested and the arrest took too long.
Carter’s father, Jim Carter, spoke directly to the victims’ families in court.
“The hate will eat you up. Please, some day, find it in your heart to forgive Rita,” he said.
Carter apologized to the families.
“I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this,” she said. “All I can do is take responsibility for today, and for the last six years. I’m just so sorry.”
The families of the victims became emotional in court.
“To be 16 years old and lose your parents was very difficult to deal with,” said Remonsanzol’s son, Alex Remonsanzol.
A Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson said the sentence was a disappointment.
A spokesperson said that troopers worked hundreds of hours to make an arrest and that drivers who leave the scene should be held accountable for their actions.
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