FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – At the tearful sentencing hearing Friday in a Broward County courtroom, Alana Mary Richter said she struck 25-year-old Leonel Dorta with her car about 1 a.m. in Davie, she thought someone had thrown something at her from an overpass.
Richter, 45, said she didn’t know she had actually struck a pedestrian. Leonel Dorta Sr. doesn't believe Richter didn't realize she had struck his son, who was 6-foot-3 inches tall and weighed about 265 pounds.
"I will never see him again," Dorta's father said. "I will never get to hug him or kiss him."
Richter was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and failing to report the incident to police. Three years after the Oct. 11 fatal hit-and-run crash, Broward Judge Raag Singhal sentenced Richter to two years in prison, 12 years of probation and revoked her driver's license for 10 years.
The judge also ordered her to write Dorta's family a letter of apology.
The sentence was issued after Dorta's family members and friends testified about the pain of their loss, and an emotional group of Richter's friends and family members spoke about her character.
Davie Police Department officers reported Richter was driving a 2014 Ford Explorer when she hit Dorta on State Road 84. Claude Hanlan, a witness, told officers she drove away, as Dorta remained on the side of the road.
Hanlan told officers he dropped off his passenger to help Dorta, and he followed Richter to the front gate of her gated community. There is surveillance video of Hanlan confronting Dorta.
According to the arrest report, when Hanlan told Richter she had just struck a man, she said, "I am going to go back. Where did he come from? I would never do such a thing." But detectives say she never called police or rescue services to report the crash.
Hanlan was the one who reported the crash to authorities and identified Richter.
Richter's 2014 Ford Explorer had damage to a front headlight and a shattered windshield. Despite continued efforts by officers to have her come out of her home the Davie mother refused to surrender for several hours and sent a text message to an officer saying, "We are waiting for our lawyer."