Testimony continues in trial of man accused of killing Miami Heat dancer

Manuel Careaga charged with DUI manslaughter in 2010 crash that killed Nancy Lopez-Ruiz

By Liane Morejon - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Testimony continued Wednesday in the DUI manslaughter trial of a man accused of killing a 22-year-old Miami Heat dancer in 2010.

Mario Careaga, 46, is charged in the Sept. 10, 2010, crash that killed Nancy Lopez-Ruiz.

The second day of testimony began with Fort Lauderdale paramedic Robert Ricci, who drew blood from Careaga the night of the crash. That blood sample was used to determine Careaga's blood-alcohol level.

During cross-examination, Careaga's attorney tried to discredit Ricci. Although Ricci told Careaga's attorney he had been at the scene of other fatal crashes before, he had not been required to draw blood before then.

Others to testify included a public safety aide who came to the scene, an evidence supervisor who handled the blood sample and a woman who said she witnessed Careaga drinking that night.

Careaga admitted he had two drinks while attending an event at the Galleria in Fort Lauderdale earlier that evening, but police said Careaga's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the state legal limit of .08 percent.

Lopez-Ruiz was about to begin her first season as a Miami Heat dancer when she was killed.

"It has been three-and-a-half years with this agony, this pain," Adela Lopez-Ruiz told Local 10 of her life since her daughter was killed.

She said her daughter was "full of life" and "energetic," and she is anticipating justice "to bring us peace."

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