Family of Bayshore crash victims hopes prison sentence brings changes to Tampa

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – David Raubenolt and his family waited nearly three years for justice after he lost his wife and little girl in the May 2018 tragedy on Bayshore Boulevard.

“When it happened you could have told me 80 years and I still would have said it’s not enough,” he said Thursday night. “We’re compassionate people. We’re sympathetic and empathetic, believe it or not, we do feel something for the defendant.”

Throughout the sentencing hearing for 21-year-old Cameron Herrin, one by one family members of the victims told Judge Christopher Nash they wanted the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.  

The judge decided on a 24-year sentence for Herrin. He pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and unlawful racing on a highway in December.

“Although this won’t bring my wife back,” Raubenolt said, “I hope this sentence will inspire younger folks to behave in a manner that is appropriate amongst our streets.”

Prosecutors say Herrin topped 100 miles per hour in his Ford Mustang before striking 24-year-old Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia Raubenolt.

“This crime took two beautiful lives and left four families broken,” State Attorney Andrew Warren told 8 On Your Side. “No sentence can repair that damage or bring back the lives lost, but we hope this outcome delivers some comfort and closure for Jessica’s and Lillia’s families.

Herrin did not speak in court. His defense attorney read an apology.

“I am so sorry for what I did and what I caused,” Attorney John Fitzgibbons said on his client’s behalf.

Fitzgibbons argued Herrin should receive the same six-year prison sentence as John Barrineau, the then 17-year-old who witnesses say was racing Herrin before the deadly crash on May 23, 2018.

But Judge Nash disagreed.

“It’s impossible to have greater harm than the harm that occurred in this case which was loss of a mother and a baby and really loss of a family as it existed,” Judge Nash said.

After sentencing, the family shared a message of wanting to honor Jessica and Lillia by making the City of Tampa safer.

“We ask you to partner with us to finally put an end to the street racing culture. Your city is only as safe as your streets,” said Michelle Clark, David’s sister.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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