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Drunken Clearwater Beach crash leads to 5-year prison sentence

A 27-year-old man has pleaded guilty to DUI-manslaughter in a crash that killed East Lake High School graduate Cristobal Cordano.

Mario Ghiloni was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison, plus 10 years on probation.

Ghiloni was visiting from Newark, Ohio, on May 5, 2008, when he made a left turn in Clearwater Beach, just in front of Cordano's car. A sample of Ghiloni's blood later showed an alcohol concentration of 0.072, just under the level at which the state presumes a driver is impaired. But authorities concluded that at the time he was driving, it was higher.

Ghiloni's attorney Frank McDermott said his client offered a tearful apology in court Friday and deeply regrets his actions.

Cordano, 21, had been a popular student at East Lake, where he played football and lacrosse. More than 400 people attended his funeral.

Drunken Clearwater Beach crash leads to 5-year prison sentence 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 6:32pm]
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