Robert Cesaire struck and killed motorcyclist Charles “Sonny” Ferguson in a head-on collision while drunk and driving the wrong way on an I-95 exit ramp seventeen years ago. On Friday, June 17, Cesaire was finally sentenced to seventeen years in prison for the slaying.
Cesare, today aged 68, accepted a plea deal at the time and was out on a $13,700 bond with ten days to get his affairs in order prior to reporting to prison. At the time, his deal with prosecutors would have him serving ten years in prison, followed by deportation back to his home country of Haiti. However, rather than living up to the terms of the deal, Cesare fled, apparently to Haiti.
The victim, a fifty-nine-year-old heavy equipment operator and motorcycle mechanic, was also engaged to be married at the time of his death as well. Ferguson’s fiancée Tina Barnes addressed the court at sentencing, lamenting the fact that Cesare lived a free man for almost two decades. Now 51, she told the court that Ferguson is in her thoughts daily.
A self-employed remodeler, Cesare was apprehended at Miami International Airport last month. He sat emotionless at the defense table as Circuit Court Judge Raag Singhal sentenced him to the maximum punishment under the law. Cesare will also be responsible for Ferguson’s funeral expenses as well as other legal fees involved in his case.
Cesare’s children addressed the court at sentencing as well, all apologizing for his actions and seeking lenience in the sentence due to his worsening health.
Ferguson’s friends and family applauded the sentence as it was handed down from the bench.
Whether you’re facing DUI charges from two weeks or two decades ago, the Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand are ready to use their quarter century of experience in the state and Federal courts on your behalf.Contact us today about your Tampa Bay-area case.