TAMPA, Florida. – The Hillsborough State’s Attorney’s Office says convicted street racer Cameron Herrin should not have his 24-year sentence reduced for the Bayshore Boulevard crash that killed a mother and baby in 2018, despite the critical comments by then-state attorney Andrew Warren.
In August, defense attorney John Fitzgibbons submitted transcripts of conversations he had with Warren in the days after conviction as part of an appeal for a lower sentence.
In a voicemail sent a day after Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison, Warren said he was “surprised and even disappointed by the sentence”, which he called “excessively harsh”.
“Mr. Warren further stated that he thought a 10 to 12 year sentence would have been appropriate and specifically stated that a 10 year sentence would be ‘OK,'” Fitzgibbons wrote in his appeal.
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In their response filed Thursday, the Hillsborough State’s Attorney’s Office, now under state attorney Susie Lopez, argued that Warren’s personal views were not relevant to the appeal. . The state also pointed out that despite comments Warren made privately after the sentencing, his office argued for an 18 to 30-year sentence.
“Mr. Warren’s personal post-conviction statements are of no value to the Court’s discretion to impose a sentence on a defendant who killed two innocent people,” the state’s attorney’s office wrote. “Instead of allowing the defendant to re-ignite these issues and further victimize Jessica and Lillia’s family, this Court should again refuse to deflect down and uphold the defendant’s sentence.”
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In August, Governor Ron DeSantis removed Warren from office on charges of being soft on crime and violating his oath of office. At a press conference following his suspension, Warren was asked about Herrin’s appeal and the claim that he supported a lighter sentence for the 22-year-old.
“It’s no secret that I was surprised by the judge’s sentencing because he went beyond the legal guidelines, but ultimately my job as a prosecutor was to hold the defendants accountable, to fight for the victim’s family and to deliver the justice that Jessica and Lillia deserved and that’s exactly what we did,” Warren said.
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In addition to calling Warren’s statements irrelevant to the appeal, the state also pointed out in its response that Warren at no time raised any formal objections to Herrin’s conviction.
“Mr. Warren has never spoken publicly or appeared in court on behalf of the State of Florida in the case of Defendant Herrin. Neither the State of Florida nor Mr. Warren objected to the sentence imposed by the court. Despite invitations to do so, neither the State of Florida nor Mr. Warren has joined in any post-conviction motions or motions that Defendant Herrin has requested regarding his sentence,” the office wrote. of the state attorney.
In June, an appeals court upheld the 24-year sentence. Fitzgibbons says this is Herrin’s “last opportunity” for a modified sentence.
In May 2018, Jessica Raubenolt and her one-year-old daughter, Lillia, were killed on Bayshore Boulevard.
Herrin and John Barrineau, another Tampa Catholic High School student, now both in their 20s, ran down the street, popular for its scenic trail along Hillsborough Bay. Jessica was crossing the road, pushing her 20-month-old daughter in a stroller when Herrin rammed her into a new Ford Mustang, a recent graduation present. Raubenolt died instantly and little Lillia died a day later.
LILY Timeline: 2018 Fatal Bayshore Street Racing Accident
Barrineau made a deal with the state in exchange for his cooperation and was sentenced to six years in prison. Herrin entered an open guilty plea, meaning Judge Christopher Nash finally decided his sentence.
State guidelines suggested Herrin could face 18 years in prison, but in submitting his guilty plea, Herrin acknowledged he could face up to 30 years in prison.