Hit-and-run driver pleads guilty

Carlos Bertonatti pleads guilty to DUI manslaughter in Christophe LeCanne's death

MIAMI – A man pleaded guilty to several charges related to the 2010 hit-and-run death of a bicyclist on the Bear Cut Bridge in Key Biscayne.

Carlos Bertonatti pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, fleeing and eluding, and resisting arrest without violence on Tuesday in connection with Christophe LeCanne's death.

Bertonatti faced the LeCanne's family for the first time in court. Police say Bertonatti hit LeCanne on Jan. 17, 2010.

"There is no easy way to say I've made some really bad decisions in my life," said Bertonatti. "It is a decision I will regret with every fiber of my body as long as I live."

"We were in the process of negotiating with the government and all plea negotiations fell apart and it really took that long to get us here," said Robert Pertierra, Bertonatti's attorney.

Bertonatti told LeCanne's family, who came to Miami from Paris, France, he wanted to apologize to them for the last three years.

"The truth is -- this was a freak accident and I am very sorry. I constantly want you to know that," he said. "I never meant to hurt anyone. I never meant to leave him on the side of the road. That is not who I am."

"Birds, sea, and sun are still there, but not Christopher," said Paul LeCanne, the victim's father. "I have no anger but I will never forgive Mr. Bertonatti."

"He died like a dog," said Nicholas LeCanne, the victim's brother.

Bertonatti faces up to 35 years in prison when he's sentenced May 2.

Police say his blood alcohol content was .122, well over Florida's legal limit of 0.08.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."