By JAMES FORD
12:03 PM EDT, August 10, 2010
NEW YORK (WPIX)
Almost exactly ten months to the day that she was in a drunk driving crash that killed an 11-year-old and injured six other girls including her own daughter, Carmen Huertas goes before a judge to plead guilty.
Last October 11th, Huertas had gone to a series of parties in the public housing complex where 11 year-old Leandra Rosado lived. After being observed having a number of drinks, Huertas took her daughter, Brittany Gonzalez, and Brittany's seven friends, including Leandra, on a ride to Huertas's house. They never arrived. Instead, Huertas flipped her car over in a high speed crash on Manhattan's West Side Highway near 96th Street.
Leandra Rosado was thrown from Huertas's Mercury Sable and was pronounced dead at the hospital. At the scene, Huertas blew a blood alcohol level of .13, more than 1 1/2 times the legal limit.
Tuesday afternoon at 2:15, Carmen Huertas is expected to plead guilty to the top charge she faced, second-degree manslaughter, for the crash. Huertas had refused a plea deal in the past, but Judge Charles Solomon apparently told her attorney that if Huertas pled, the sentence he would give her would be somewhere between the minimum of probation and the maximum of 5 - 15 years.
"Judge Solomon is a family man," Leandra's father, Lenny Rosado, told PIX 11 News. "If he can understand what I've gone through, he could give her close to the max," he said.
Mr. Rosado has been hard at work on his daughter's behalf since she died last fall. Rosado was part of an effort to get a law passed to make sentences tougher on drunk drivers who are arrested with children in their cars. The New York State Legislature unanimously passed Leandra's law barely a month after the crash that killed the girl after which it is named.
Leandra's father is now on the fast track to getting Leandra's Law adopted at a national level. In the courtroom Tuesday when he faces his daughter's accused killer, Lenny Rosado will have with him a letter from President Barack Obama, inviting Rosado to a meeting at the White House September 20th to help set in motion the adoption of Leandra's Law by congress this term.
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