MIAMI – A man was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in state prison for a January 2017 hit-and-run crash that left one man dead.
Michael Mario Delgado, now 25, was convicted of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash.
According to a police report, witnesses told detectives that a group of men were fighting about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in a shopping plaza parking lot at 6905 W. 12th Ave.
Police said one of the men saw a woman he knew get pushed to the ground, so he got out of his SUV to help her, leaving his keys in the ignition and the vehicle running.
Police said Delgado jumped into the driver's seat and drove toward the group, striking one of the men, identified as 41-year-old Javier Prado.
The impact caused Prado to flip in the air multiple times and land on a parking block, the report said.
Prado was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition, but he ultimately died of his injuries.
Police said the other victims were able to jump out of the way before being hit.
Police said Delgado continued driving out of the parking lot and fled the scene.
Some of Prado's relatives testified Wednesday, telling Delgado they hope he suffers in prison and wish ill on his family so he suffers even more.
"Your honor, please hear my soul and send this devil to the lake of fire. With God's will, I pray that you seek the maximum," Prado's nephew, Julio Morales, said.
"I just hope the worst of the worst happens to him while he's in prison and I hope his family suffers," Prado's son, Rohan Prado, said.
Delgado's relatives, on the other hand, painted a different picture of Delgado, saying that his actions were a one-off and that he shouldn't get the maximum penalty. They also offered apologies on behalf of their families to the Prado family.
"I'm asking from the bottom of my heart for you to be lenient on my son. I am truly sorry," Delgado's mother, Madeleine Fernandez, said through tears.
Delgado also addressed Prado's family in court, crying as he read his statement to them.
"I know that the Prado family may never forgive me, and I understand that. All I can do is apologize for all of it and hope that they can find peace," he said.
Miami-Dade County Judge Andrea Wolfson said she believed Delgado was "driven by anger," but eventually showed remorse.
"I do believe you're sorry now. I do believe that the words you said to the Prado family were accurate, but unfortunately, it's too little too late," Wolfson said.
The judge also said that she didn't believe Delgado was in fear for his life when he swerved into the crowd.
Delgado plans to appeal his conviction; however, the judge denied his request for bail as the appeal process plays out.
His attorney has 30 days to formally file the appeal.
Prado's family, meanwhile, said they hoped Delgado received more time.
"I wish he would have gotten a little more time, but it is what it is. He got what he got," the victim's brother, Jorge Prado, said.