TAMPA, Fla. – Even the victim’s family is shocked after a Tampa judge handed down a tough sentence in the deadly hit and run case.
Tuesday afternoon, Judge Vivian Corvo sentenced Allison Huffman to 28 years in prison for killing a tow truck driver. Huffman struck and killed Roger Perez-Borroto as he was working on the side of the Howard Frankland Bridge.
Judge Corvo said Huffman had every chance to call for help when the February 2016 accident happened.
Instead, Huffman left the scene, ditched her car and took a cab to the Hard Rock Casino. She had a drink at the bar and gambled for hours.
Huffman had to stand and watch as Perez-Borroto’s sister went through family pictures, showing happier times before her brother was killed.
Huffman had three prior DUI convictions, but because she was found two days after the crash investigators couldn't determine if she was drunk.
The court also saw pictures of the damaged Volkswagen they say Huffman was driving when she ran down Perez-Borroto. He was a father to a 4-year-old daughter.
Judge Corvo said Huffman’s behavior was "reprehensible." Instead of leaning toward the minimum 10-year sentence, she gave her closer to the maximum.
“I know there’s no words that can give you any comfort. But I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart," Huffman said in court facing the victim’s family.
"I’ve prayed for peace and comfort and healing of your family,” she added.
“I do have mercy on her. It’s hard to forgive someone that rips a loved one like that away from you," said Zarais Perez-Borroto. "But like Judge Corvo said, it’s the way she behaved afterwards that makes it conflicting.”
The courtroom was filled with members of the towing community. They've used this tragedy to as the latest example of why drivers need to follow the law – slow down and move over when tow trucks are working on the side of the road.