In February of 2016, Allison Faye Huffman was driving on the Howard Frankland Bridge when her car side swiped a tow truck.
Rogelio Perez-Borroto was operating the truck and had just stopped to help a stranded driver.
Huffman’s car hit Perez-Borroto and threw his body up onto the truck. He died at the scene.
Huffman never stopped.
Instead, she drove her severely damaged car to the Crown Plaza Hotel, got out, inspected the damage, saw the blood and walked away.
Evidence shows Huffman walked to a nearby drug store and called for a cab.
From there, she went to the Hard Rock Casino and spent the next 11 and a half hours gambling before going to Ybor City for more drinks.
She never reported the accident but she did tell her friend in Ybor what happened and it was the friend who called police.
Tuesday, Huffman stood and listened to the facts of her case being read in court.
She watched as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper showed accident photos and talked about the damage to her car and her actions after the accident.
Perez-Borroto’s sister spoke to the judge, telling her about the severe impact the crime has had on her family.
“I felt like someone just cut my chest open and ripped my heart out. I have nightmares. I can’t sleep,” said Zarais Perez-Borroto.
Finally, Huffman addressed the court and the victim’s family and friends.
“I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. I pray for peace and comfort and healing,” said Huffman.
Under Florida law, Huffman faced a minimum sentence of four years in prison for leaving the scene of an accident involving death and a maximum sentence of 30 years.
A sentencing guideline form suggested a sentence of 10 years in prison, but Judge Vivian Corvo decided to go well beyond the suggested sentence,
“That is far beyond anything I’ve ever seen in the 36 years that I’ve been a lawyer,” said Corvo, who was outraged that Huffman gambled for nearly 12 hours after killing a man and leaving him for dead on the side of the road.
“Your actions are reprehensible. It is inconceivable to this court that you were not aware that you had seriously injured someone,” said Corvo who then sentenced Huffman to 28 years in prison.
After the hearing, the victim’s sister was willing to forgive but not forget.
“It’s hard to forgive someone that rips a loved one away from you like she did and it’s not so much the action of what she did, but like Judge Corvo, said it’s the way she behaved afterwards that makes it kind of conflicting. But I really hope she finds the peace that she needs,” said Perez-Borroto.