Woman who struck South Florida principal accepts plea deal

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The woman responsible for running over a South Florida principal with her SUV accepted a plea deal, Friday morning.

Marilyn Aguilera signed the state’s plea deal will have her serve five years in prison and three years on probation.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to DUI and causing great bodily harm to South Dade High School principal Javi Perez, who lost both of his legs as a result.

“Yes, I understand the full extent. I am guilty,” said Aguilera during the hearing.

“This chapter is over. Marilyn accepted responsibility, finally,” said Ana Davide, Aguilera’s attorney, after the hearing. “She acknowledged very clearly to the judge that what she did was terrible.”

The case is finally coming to a close after delays and even a surprising twist in November. She was expected to take a plea deal that would have her serve seven years in prison, but moments before the hearing she tested positive for marijuana.

As a result, the presiding judge called off the arraignment and ordered Aguilera re-arrested for violating the conditions of her release from jail.

While this chapter is over for Aguilera, Perez must live with her actions for the rest of his life.

On Friday, state prosecutor Laura Adams read an emotional statement penned by Perez’s wife, Maytee Perez. “On April 26, 2016, my family’s life was forever changed,” Adams read. “This tragedy caused my husband to be condemned to a lifetime of living without his legs.”

The principal’s family chose not to be in court Friday.

Authorities said Aguilera was driving her SUV under the influence when she veered off the road and struck Perez at a West Miami-Dade park, where the principal was attending his son’s Little League game.

Upwards of 20 children under the age of 6 witnessed the crash.

“My children’s innocence is gone. They are no longer carefree and worry-free kids,” said Adams as she read Maytee Perez’s statement. “They look for the possibility of danger in every situation.”

Davide said she and her client are aware of the toll the accident took on Perez and his loved ones. “This is a case where every day they’re seeing the impact, and I think that’s why it’s so overwhelming for everybody involved,” she said. “That’s why I told Marilyn that she needs to really prove herself.”

In her statement, Perez’s wife had the following to say about her husband’s day-to-day life: “The experience is pain daily. As much as we strive for a sense of normalcy, his life, our life will never be the same.”

Aguilera will serve the maximum sentence for driving under the influence and causing serious bodily harm.

During her three years of probation, she will be required to wear an ankle monitor and enroll in a drug and alcohol abuse program.

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