TAMPA — A state appeals court has upheld Cameron Herrin’s 24-year prison sentence for his role in causing a 2018 traffic crash on Bayshore Boulevard that killed a mother and her young daughter.
After hearing oral arguments in the case earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal on Friday affirmed the trial court’s sentencing decision. The court did not issue a written opinion.
“It is obviously very disappointing, but appeals such as this are always a steep uphill climb,” said Herrin’s attorney, John Fitzgibbons. “We are currently evaluating the options which we have.”
Herrin’s appeal had raised the issue of whether Circuit Judge Christopher Nash abused his discretion in applying the sentence. The appeal noted the difference between Herrin’s penalty and that of the other involved teen driver, John Barrineau, who negotiated an agreement for a six-year sentence.
The crash occurred May 23, 2018, along the iconic boulevard.
Witnesses said the pair appeared to be racing as they sped north on Bayshore — Barrineau in a Nissan Altima, Herrin in a Ford Mustang that he’d received as a gift for his recent high school graduation.
Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt, who was from Ohio and visiting relatives in Tampa, had gone out for a walk that morning, pushing her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia, in a stroller. She moved to cross the roadway near Knights Avenue. At the same moment, the cars approached. She and her daughter were struck by the Mustang and killed.
Herrin and Barrineau both pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide charges. Herrin chose to let a judge decide his sentence. State guidelines suggested a minimum penalty of 18 years. The maximum was 30. His attorney argued that there were reasons to impose a sentence below what the guidelines suggested.
After a daylong sentencing hearing last spring, which featured emotional testimony from family members of the victims, Nash imposed 24 years — nine years for the mother, 15 years for the child.