JUMP TO COMMENTS
Previous
Next

Emotional court scenes as woman, 22, who tweeted ‘2 drunk to care’ before killing two best friends in a wrong-way crash is sentenced to 24 years in prison

  • Kayla Mendoza boasted about being drunk before she killed Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio in South Florida in November 2012
  • Family members of both victims attended the sentencing, where they wore shirts with a photo of the two best friends
  • Mendoza had faced a maximum of 30 years behind bars   

A South Florida woman who tweeted about being drunk minutes before a fatal wrong-way crash that killed two 21-year-old women was sentenced Monday to 24 years in prison.

A judge also said 22-year-old Kayla Mendoza will remain on probation for six years after her release.

Mendoza pleaded guilty in February to two DUI manslaughter charges in the November 2013 crash that killed best friends Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio.

Prior to the sentencing, Mendoza tearfully read a letter to the families of Kaitlyn and Marisa.

‘This all may be my fault, but at the end of the day, I’m a human being just like everyone else,’ Mendoza said. ‘I have a heart, and it aches everyday. The guilt is overwhelming. I want to speak about this accident with everyone so that I can prevent this from ever happening again.’

Scroll down for video 

'This all may be my fault, but at the end of the day, I'm a human being': '2 drunk to care' driver, Kayla Mendoza, who killed two best friends in Florida in 2012 asked for the court's mercy on Friday but was ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison

‘This all may be my fault, but at the end of the day, I’m a human being’: ‘2 drunk to care’ driver, Kayla Mendoza, who killed two best friends in Florida in 2012 asked for the court’s mercy on Friday but was ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison

The two best friends (Kaitlyn Ferrante (left) and Marisa Catronio (right) were heading home from a night out when they were stuck head-on by the car of drunk-driver, Kayla Mendoza

The two best friends (Kaitlyn Ferrante (left) and Marisa Catronio (right) were heading home from a night out when they were stuck head-on by the car of drunk-driver, Kayla Mendoza

'We waited for hours without answers. Nobody would tell us anything until Florida Highway Patrol came down around 5:30 a.m. and said, 'We regret to inform you that...'' Marisa's father Gary Catronio recalled from the night of his daughter's death before breaking down in sobs.

‘We waited for hours without answers. Nobody would tell us anything until Florida Highway Patrol came down around 5:30 a.m. and said, ‘We regret to inform you that…” Marisa’s father Gary Catronio recalled from the night of his daughter’s death before breaking down in sobs.

Evidence showed that Mendoza tweeted out ‘2 drunk 2 care’ before the Sawgrass Expressway accident.

Authorities later said her blood-alcohol level was almost twice Florida’s legal limit. She had been out drinking with co-workers prior to the crash.

Mendoza had faced a maximum of 30 years behind bars, reports WSVN.

Family members of both victims attended the sentencing in Broward County, where they wore t-shirts that depicted a photo of the two victims.

They appeared unmoved by Mendoza’s letter as they filed out of the gallery in order to make their own statements.

One woman with Catronio’s family even appeared to glare at Mendoza as she flashed the shirt in her direction.

‘We waited for hours without answers. Nobody would tell us anything until Florida Highway Patrol came down around 5:30 a.m. and ”We regret to inform you that…”’ Marisa’s father Gary Catronio recalled from the night of his daughter’s death before breaking down in sobs.

Grief stricken: The families of the victims wore shirts emblazoned with their photos to the sentencing. A woman who was with Catronio's father appeared to glare at Mendoza as she made sure to flash her the shirt while filing out of the court gallery to speak

Grief stricken: The families of the victims wore shirts emblazoned with their photos to the sentencing. A woman who was with Catronio’s father appeared to glare at Mendoza as she made sure to flash her the shirt while filing out of the court gallery to speak

Horrific: Authorities say Mendoza was 20 years old and driving without a valid driver's license when she ran head-on into a car that carried Kaitlyn Ferrante (left) and Marisa Catronio (right). The two friends were out celebrating Miss Catronio's 21st birthday.

Horrific: Authorities say Mendoza was 20 years old and driving without a valid driver’s license when she ran head-on into a car that carried Kaitlyn Ferrante (left) and Marisa Catronio (right). The two friends were out celebrating Miss Catronio’s 21st birthday.

Authorities say Mendoza was 20 years old and driving without a valid driver’s license when she ran head-on into a car that carried Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio.

Catronio was pronounced dead at the scene around 2am on November 17, 2013. Ferrante was taken to hospital but died from her injuries four days later.

'Pothead princess': As well as the '2 drunk 2 care' tweet sent just hours before the crash, Mendoza had also referred to herself as the 'Pothead Princess' and fired off dozens of tweets about being high and rolling joints

‘Pothead princess’: As well as the ‘2 drunk 2 care’ tweet sent just hours before the crash, Mendoza had also referred to herself as the ‘Pothead Princess’ and fired off dozens of tweets about being high and rolling joints

The best friends had been heading home to Coral Springs in Miss Ferrante’s 2012 Toyota Camry after a night out when they were struck by a Hyundai Sonata driven by Mendoza, police said.

Mendoza was heading east in the westbound lanes when she slammed head-on into Catronio’s red Camry driven by Ferrante, west of University Drive.

The two friends were out celebrating Miss Catronio’s 21st birthday.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, it was revealed that Mendoza was not shy about her drug and alcohol use on her social media accounts.

As well as the ‘2 drunk 2 care’ tweet sent just hours before the crash, she had also referred to herself as the ‘Pothead Princess’ and fired off dozens of tweets about being high and rolling joints.

On the night of the incident Mendoza was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.15, she was just 20 at the time and had been out boozing with co-workers from her T-Mobile sales job.

After the drinks her manager dropped her off at her car and that is when ‘things went black’, she said. ‘I wish there was something I could say to make up for what happened,’ she told Inside Edition last year.

‘But no matter how many ‘sorrys, apologies, tears I cry – no matter how much I hate myself for what happened, nothing I say will change anything.’

The crash means Mendoza is currently confined to a wheelchair because she is still recovering from injuries of her own.

Gary Catronio, Marisa’s father, said that Mendoza had ‘changed the lives of our family forever.’

Read more: SOURCE

JUMP TO COMMENTS
Previous
Next
Please wait...

And Now... A Few Links From Our Sponsors

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!