(LAS VEGAS CBS KXNT) The man who struck and killed a 12-year-old girl on Halloween night of 2011 while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol received a 20-year sentence in district court today.
Judge Elissa Cadish sentenced 41-year-old Justin Caramanica after hearing lengthy and emotional statements from the grandfather and the mother of Faith Love about the impact her death has had on them.
Rocquell Love told the court she struggles every day to grasp the reality that her daughter is gone, and that she will not get to watch her grow up and reach adulthood.
“You were one of my greatest accomplishments,” she said tearfully, addressing the girl’s smiling photo on an easel in the courtroom. Faith was a good student who wanted to be a marine biologist and get involved in the world of aerospace engineering, her mother said.
Love was trick-or-treating on Halloween night of 2011 when she was struck by Caramanica’s car on a residential street in western Las Vegas. Prosecutor Steve Waters said Caramanica was under the legal limit for alcohol intoxication, but he also had marijuana and two kinds of prescription pain killers in his system.
Caramanica’s bail was revoked after he hit a parked car in September while on prescription pain medication, even as he awaited sentencing in Faith Love’s death. Judge Cadish noted the incident as she handed down the sentence. Cadish said it concerned her that Caramanica had violated a court order not to drive, but had also gotten behind the wheel with a child in the car, and with no apparent thought to the possibility of a child in his path out on the street.
Caramanica’s attorney said he’d been asked by the child of a friend if he would drive her to a birthday party, and “he stupidly did.”
Caramanica will be eligible for parole in 8 years.