Sentencing hearing for defendant in DUI manslaughter case, but no sentence

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Michael Ciranni said he can never forgive Amber Perera for what she did to his family.

“You’ve taken from my family everything we’ve strived to have. You’ve taken everything from us,” Ciranni told Perera. “You can’t give it back.”

Ciranni’s daughter Rita Felipak, son-in-law Luiz and granddaughter Giorgia were the victims in a deadly accident in August of 2017 on the Crosstown Expressway in Tampa.

Perera left the scene, taking off at a high rate of speed, police said. Law enforcement caught up with her shortly after the crash when her car broke down.

According to detectives with the Tampa Police Department, Perera was on the prescription drugs Lexapro and Ativan, a drug used to treat seizures.

In September, Perera pleaded guilty to a number of charges including three counts of DUI manslaughter for causing the wreck that killed the family.

Tracy Kelly was heading in the opposite direction on the expressway that day when she saw the Felipak’s Hyundai headed straight for her.

“The only thing that I remember was thinking that I was not going to make it through the crash and that my children were going to lose their mother,” Kelly said.

Kelly survived the crash and testified at Perera’s sentencing hearing on Friday. She says the accident has left her in constant pain.

“Constant chronic pain to the point where my body shakes and I am curled up laying in bed. For this I am on heavy doses of medications daily including oxycodone and morphine,” Kelly testified. “The medications only help to keep me from screaming and going to the hospital.”

Testimony at the sentencing hearing wrapped up shortly before 4 p.m. Judge Anthony Sabella then told everyone in the courtroom that it had been a long day filled with emotional testimony and he wanted to base his sentencing on the facts and the law.

He plans to hand down his sentence on Tuesday at 9 a.m.


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