Miami ‘Party Princess’ Faces DUI Manslaughter Charge
(MIAMI) -- Karlie Tomica is a college student who’s known as the Miami Beach "party princess," but police say her blood alcohol content was three times over the legal limit when she drove her boyfriend’s car, hit a well-known chef and fled the scene.
The chef, 49-year-old Stefano Riccioletti, was killed in the Jan. 28 accident, which happened in the early morning on Collins Avenue, a popular Miami Beach thoroughfare. Riccioletti, who was married with three children, was the executive chef at Terraza at Shore Club, an upscale restaurant.
Police initially charged Tomica, 20, with leaving the scene of an accident, but added the DUI manslaughter charge when they got the results of her blood alcohol test. She faces up to 30 years in prison if she’s convicted.
Tomica was apparently leaving her bartending job at the popular Nikki Beach nightclub when she allegedly hit Riccioletti. He was reportedly thrown by the impact. A witness called 911 and followed Tomica, and police arrested her.
Riccioletti’s family members have filed lawsuits against Tomica and Nikki Beach, arguing the club is responsible for allowing Tomica to leave intoxicated.
Riccoletti’s wife, Patrizia Pesce, said her first thought upon learning of her husband’s death was her children.
“How am I going to tell them that they have lost their Dad?” she said.
The family’s attorney, Jose Baez, added: “Stefano is not here, and it doesn’t matter if it is a car or a gun, he was killed. And the persons or person responsible for that need to be held accountable.”
Tomica’s attorney, Mark Shapiro, said his client is a young girl who made a tragic mistake.
“She’s just a regular person who finds herself in this horrible situation,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio