MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There was an unexpected and upsetting ending in the case of a man who killed three people — including his own teen sister and an up-and-coming electronic music DJ.
Erick Betancourt faced at least 27 years in prison for the crash in West Miami-Dade in 2014. However, a judge sentenced him to 10 days in jail, spread out over the next 10 years — on the anniversary of the crash.
Betancourt, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular manslaughter.
“After four plus years that we were working on this case, two judges and three assistant district attorneys, it came to an end on Monday,” said Rita Marti, whose son, Anthony Rodriguez, was one of the three victims killed in the crash.
Rodriguez was an electronic dance music DJ known as “DJ SonicC”.
He and two others, including the defendant’s sister, were killed when Betancourt’s Dodge Durango veered into the wrong lane, crashing head on into the Chevy Cavalier.
Rodriguez’s mother hoped he’d be sentenced to at least a couple of years.
“The standards are there for a reason. And if the minimum was 27 years…. he was a young boy and some people were saying it was an accident but his tire didn’t blow up, nothing fell in front of him. He was driving recklessly,” said Marti.
Marti wants something done so that other families don’t go through what she’s going through.
“What I’d like to see happen is to take away the freedom of the judges to ignore standards. You can’t give one person so much power to do whatever they want,” said Marti.
Betancourt was not found to be impaired.
The State Attorney’s Office said that since the defendant made an open plea of guilty to the court, they only learned of the sentence as the judged handed it down in court.