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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Judge rejects request to let driver in fatal race stay on roads

Eighteen-year-old Cameron Coyle Herrin killed a woman and her child Wednesday racing his Mustang down Bayshore Boulevard, according to police. But Saturday, his lawyer asked that once he gets out of jail, he be allowed to keep driving.

“He’s got college coming up, and he will need to be able to get to his classes,” defense attorney John M. Fitzgibbons told Circuit Court Judge Art McNeil.

The judge was not receptive.

“Counsel, I can’t imagine what you can say that would convince me to let him drive,” McNeil replied.

[ Bayshore race claims two lives: child dies day after mother’s death ]

Herrin made his first appearance in Hillsborough County criminal court on a second count of vehicular homicide Saturday. He had already been charged with a first count Wednesday.

He appeared in a green suicide prevention smock, his hands and feet shackled.

Herrin appears before Judge Art McNeil Saturday.

Police said Herrin was racing John Alexander Barrineau, 17, on Bayshore. While speeding in a 2018 Mustang, Herrin hit 24-year-old Jessica Raubenolt as she pushed her 21-month-old daughter Lillia in a stroller, police said.

Raubenolt died at the scene. Lillia died Thursday.

Barrineau was also charged with vehicular homicide. Both teens graduated from Tampa Catholic High School two days before the fatal crash.

Friday, Herrin hired Fitzgibbons, a high-profile defense attorney who is a former assistant United States attorney in Tampa.

“He’s no danger to the community,” Fitzgibbons told the judge. “This was a horrible one-time incident.”

Outside the court, Fitzgibbons spoke briefly with reporters.

“My client Cameron is a nice kid,” he said. “He’s a good kid. He’s never been in any trouble whatsoever. He just graduated from high school Monday night. He is a kid any parent would be proud to have.”

The State Attorney’s Office wanted Herrin’s bail set at $200,000. Fitzgibbons asked that it be lowered to $7,500. Herrin’s bond on the previous charge was only $10,000. Fitzgibbons also asked that some of the conditions of Herrin’s release be dropped .

McNeil lowered the bond to $50,000 but kept the restrictions. Herrin will be required surrender his passport and wear a GPS ankle bracelet. The court forbade Herrin from driving or leaving Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

[ One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd ]

The judge appeared surprised that Herrin driver’s license was not already suspended, or that Herrin would want to drive.

An hour after Herrin’s court appearance, about 300 people converged on the location where Raubenolt died for a vigil honoring her and Lillia. Many who came out held their children in their arms.

Speakers from Sidewalk Stompers and Citizens for a Better Bay to Bay expressed their condolences to the Raubenolt family, but also pleaded for changes to Tampa’s roads to make them safer, which has been an increasing focus in recent days. Friday, Hillsborough lowered the speed limit on Bayshore by 5 mph.

At the vigil, Hillsborough County commissioner Pat Kemp said the crash wasn’t just an example of reckless driving: it also demonstrated the area’s poorly designed sidewalks and pedestrian crossways.

“We need to put people first, not speeding cars,” Kemp said.

City Councilman Harry Cohen said that he and others would do everything possible to lower speed limits, build crosswalks and repair sidewalks. But he also said motorists have a responsibility to slow down.

“The speeding when I was walking here this morning was going on as if this never happened,” Cohen said.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at [email protected]. Follow @jonathancapriel.

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