TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Cameron Herrin, the man who killed a mother and daughter while racing on Bayshore Boulevard when he was a teenager, will not receive a lesser sentence, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in causing the 2018 crash that killed Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt, 24, and her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia.
The crash sparked outcry from the community and led to changes on Bayshore, including more stoplights and a lower speed limit.
Police said Reisinger-Raubenolt was visiting Tampa from Ohio, and was pushing Lillia in a stroller across Bayshore. Herrin, who was 18 at the time, was in a Mustang, racing his 17-year-old friend John Barrineau, who was driving a gold Nissan Altima.
Police said Barrineau swerved out of the way to avoid hitting Reisinger-Raubenolt and Lillia. Herrin swerved out of the way to avoid hitting the Altima, and ran into the mother and daughter.
Before the crash, investigators said Herrin was going 102 miles per hour, then slammed on the brakes.
Herrin pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide charges. His friend, Barrineau also pleaded guilty and received a 6-year sentence.
In April 2021, Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
In a motion to reduce the sentence, Herrin’s lawyer, John Fitzgibbons, claimed the prosecutor, ousted State Attorney Andrew Warren, called him and said 24 years was “excessively harsh.” Fitzgibbons claimed in other conversations, Warren said the sentence was “crazy” and “egregiously high” and that a 10 to 12-year sentence would have been appropriate.
The lawyer argued Warren’s alleged statements should be taken into consideration since he was “the chief law enforcement officer in Hillsborough County” and a “minister of justice.”
But Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash rejected the motion, noting Warren had declined to join the defense in their effort to modify the sentence.
“The State contends that ‘[n]one of the legal analysis necessary to determine if a reduced sentence is appropriate in any case hinges on the personal opinions or feelings of any prosecutor,’ and a trial court has the ‘absolute right’ to ignore the opinions and recommendations of prosecutors,” the order states. “The State acknowledges that it ‘made no offer of any kind’ to Mr. Herrin, and argues that Mr. Warren’s personal opinions ‘are not the position of the State of Florida.’”
“It’s no secret that I was surprised by the judge’s sentence because he went above the statutory guidelines,” Warren said when the motion was first filed in August. “But, at the end of the day, my job as state attorney was to hold the defendants accountable, to fight for the victims’ family, and to deliver the justice that Jessica and Lillia deserved, and that’s exactly what we did.”
In a statement sent to WFLA on Friday, Warren said Fitzgibbons was “clearly misrepresenting or misremembering our conversation.”
“In back-to-back sentences in his court filing, the defense attorney says both that I was ‘ok’ with and rejected a 10- to 12-year sentence. That makes no sense,” Warren said.
“It doesn’t change the fact that two lives were tragically lost, two more lives were forever ruined, and we did our duty to hold the defendants accountable and deliver justice for Jessica and Lillia,” he added.