Karlie Tomica guilty plea in DUI death of Miami Beach chef Stefano Riccioletti

By: Associated Press

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A 20-year-old Florida woman tearfully admitted Wednesday to running over and killing a Miami Beach chef while driving drunk after finishing her bartending shift at a nightclub.

Karlie Tomica accepted a plea deal at Miami-Dade Circuit Court requiring her to serve four years in prison for driving under the influence and causing the death of 49-year-old Stefano Riccioletti.

"I know my actions shattered the hearts of his wife, his children, his friends and all who knew him," Tomica said, crying, as her family clung to her at the podium in court, The Miami Herald reports. "I broke the hearts of my parents. I broke my younger sister's heart and broke my boyfriend's heart."

"I greatly disappointed all who know and love me. I did all of this. I also broke my own heart."

According to prosecutors, Tomica was drunk when she left her job as a bartender at Nikki Beach nightclub and then struck and killed Riccioletti as he walked across Collins Avenue.

Witness Jairo Fuentes said the impact sent Riccioletti's body flying into the air and landing in the driveway of a nearby hotel. Fuentes followed her, imploring her to stop. When he confronted her at the valet area of her condo, Tomica's blonde hair was spattered with blood and flesh sucked through an open passenger-side window.

She ignored Fuentes and went upstairs to her apartment, where she was later arrested.

Tomica refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene, but her blood alcohol content was determined to be .225 two hours after the crash, three times the legal limit.

Riccioletti was a father of three and executive chef at Terrazza at the Shore Club.

Tomica once described herself as a "party princess" on Twitter and her case drew national headlines because of the callousness of her actions and gruesome nature of Riccioletti's death.

The guilty plea means Tomica will serve four years in prison, two years of house arrest and 15 years of probation. She must also finish more than 1,000 hours of community service and speak to students at least five times a year about the drunken driving crash that left Riccioletti dead.

Her driver's license has also been permanently revoked, meaning she will never drive again.


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