It was over four years ago that 18-year-old Natasha "Carla" Abogado was struck and killed on St. Clair Avenue East in Toronto. She had been jaywalking when a pickup truck going 55 km/h over the speed limit collided with her.
The driver of that vehicle was Det.-Const. Remo Romano of the York Regional Police. He was in an unmarked vehicle going 115 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. He claimed he was paying attention to police surveillance when he hit Abogado.
The case has gone to trial three times since the accident. The first time resulted in a deadlocked jury. The second trial found Romano not guilty. However, the crown successfully appealed that verdict.
The third trial found him guilty of dangerous driving causing death. Yesterday, a judge sentenced him to a mere eight months for the crime and people are not happy.
8 mths for killing someone and his 3rd time speeding. Power trip much !! This is def not a general stmt., one does see this daily. So sad for the grieving family. To young folks who look at law enforcement as role models,This verdict not such a good message abt consequences .— Elsie Alvares (@elsie_alvares) September 13, 2018
The people hurting the most, in this case, are clearly Abogado’s family. As the short sentence was handed down they sobbed in the courtroom. Later, Romano was granted permission to appeal. It was then the Abogados left the courthouse in tears too upset to speak to the media.
People took to Twitter to express their shock in the sentencing. Some are pointing out the fact that police seem to get lenient sentences when it comes to cases like this. It has people questioning what type of sentence a civilian would have in the same case.
He’ll be out in no time. Fines and sentences should be 3-5x higher for police compared to taxpayers. They preach law and justice but escape it to easily. That cop probably gave people a hard time and fines for speeding. He sped and killed someone and doesn’t even get a year.— Matt (@Divebutt) September 13, 2018
Judge Brian O'Marra explained his decision in his sentencing report, "The Abogado family are clearly kind and generous, as was Carla," he wrote while also calling her death a loss to the family and society. "That loss must be reflected in the sentence I impose."
Romano who is a married father of five says he suffered PTSD following the crash. He was granted bail following the hearing and plans to move forward with an appeal of his sentence.
*Disclaimer: Part of the cover photo was used for demonstrative purposes only.