MIAMI – A former restaurant owner charged in a deadly crash from nearly seven years ago was back in court Tuesday as he accepted a plea deal in the case.
Jonathan Eismann, 58, pleaded guilty to careless driving involving a death and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.
In exchange, Eismann will spend the next year of his life on probation and without a driver's license. He will not serve any time behind bars.
"It was very hard for us to take this because we were expecting, as we were informed of, something different for the past seven years," the victim's widow, Celia Guevara, said.
"You were expecting jail time?" Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon asked.
"Correct," Guevara said.
Authorities said Juan Carlos Ruiz, 29, was run down by Eismann's SUV on Oct. 10, 2012. He was waiting for a bus before work along Northwest 72nd Avenue, south of the Dolphin Expressway, just a block from his home.
Police said Eismann was fleeing the scene of another accident when he lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb.
"If you wouldn't have fled the scene of that accident, my husband would've been alive," Guevara said.
The victim's widow and other family members addressed Eismann directly during the hearing. The judge also directed Eismann to apologize to Ruiz's family in open court.
"I'm not asking for any forgiveness because that would be unacceptable," Eismann said. "I would ask that in the future you try to understand that this was an innocent accident."
Eismann never said "I'm sorry" during his statement in court.
"Do you think he's sorry?" Morejon asked Guevara.
"No," she said.
Guevara said she wants to forgive Eismann for what he did, but can't.
"I don't forgive what he did," she said. "I don't forgive the court or the justice system. As a matter of fact, I feel more betrayed by them."