DUI manslaughter brings 4-year prison term for Bradenton man

jdeleon@bradenton.comJanuary 23, 2014 

Rivera

MANATEE -- A Bradenton man was sentenced to four years in state prison for the death of his brother-in-law as a result of fatal crash while driving under the influence.

Carlos Rivera, 42, found guilty July 26 of DUI manslaughter and DUI with property damage, appeared Wednesday before Manatee County Judge John Lakin for sentencing.

Lakin also gave Rivera five years probation following prison, revoked his driver's license permanently, 100 community service hours, fines and court costs. He was also ordered to write a letter apologizing to the victim's family.

"The judge found, based upon the testimony put on by the defense, that the defendant had shown remorse," Assistant State Attorney Michael Manning said. "There was conflicting testimony and the judge found that the defense had made their burden of proof."

Some family members took the stand on behalf of Rivera, who could have served up to 15 years in prison based on state statute.

Rivera was driving his Toyota pickup truck north early May 2 on Cooper Creek Boulevard in South Manatee County when he drove over a curb, struck a bush and then an oak a tree splitting the car, according to court documents.

Rivera's brother-in-law, Haudrey Figueurdo, 28, of Alma, Ga., was ejected from the car and later died at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.

The Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigation cited alcohol as fault for the fatal traffic crash.

Rivera's blood alcohol level was at least .175, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement toxicology report. Rivera was reportedly going at least 73 mph in a 30-mph zone when before the accident.

Part of the car then struck and knocked over a metal fenced owned by the University Park Homeowner's Association.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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