St Pete Mother Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter After Allowing Her Unlicensed 15 Year Old Son to Drive and Kill His Passenger and Friend

In a very emotional sentencing hearing, that I happened to witness while in the same courtroom on an unrelated case, a St. Petersburg mother plead guilty to Manslaughter on the morning her trial was to begin in a case where she let her 15-year old son, Shawn Ledesma, drive her car, which he crashed, killing one of his passengers, Raquel Carreras, a 14-year old student at Northeast High School.

For the complete story, check out this St. Pete Times article.

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Personally, I think this would have been a very interesting case had it gone to trial. While I certainly understand the position of the State Attorney’s Office (after all, someone’s child was killed that evening), I also think it is a bit unfair to treat this Defendant in the same way that we would treat someone who intentionally drinks and drives and kills someone leading to a DUI Manslaughter charge.

At trial, the State of Florida would have needed to prove that Lesa Ledesma “knew” or “should have known” that giving her car keys to her 15-year old son would have lead to someone being seriously inujured or killed. To me, that would have been a stretch as underage kids drive their parents’ vehicles a lot more than we probably realize or want to admit.

The mother of the now-deceased high school student stated that she would like for parents to “quit being a friend, and be a parent.” After many years of prosecuting and handling difficult and emotional cases such as this one, I could not have said it better myself.

The Blake & Dorsten, P.A. in Clearwater handles major Crimes of Violence including Manslaughter and DUI Manslaughter cases.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a serious Felony offense, they are going to need an experienced and aggressive criminal trial attorney who is not afraid to go to battle against the State of Florida and local law enforcement. Criminal defense attorney Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq., of the Clearwater-based Blake & Dorsten, P.A., would like to speak with you about your case.

To Contact us directly, please call 727.286.6141. The Blake & Dorsten, P.A. is available 365/24/7 to assist its clients in the most serious emergencies.

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