"His voice wasn't impressive, but he was OK at guitar and very charismatic," says Wohlstein, who began booking Bertonatti for weekly shows. "He was a great promoter, and he drew a lot of support. The chicks who showed up to hear him — it was amazing."

On his website and MySpace page, Bertonatti portrayed himself as an adventuresome playboy looking for love. He surfed and wakeboarded in one video and talked about his love for older women in another.

He never mentioned that in 2006, according to state records, he tied the knot with a now-32-year-old Miami native named Arlene Tur. Tur, a former professional beach volleyball player and model, is now an actress on the cable series Crash and has a part in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Eat, Pray, Love.

A "ghost bike" hangs in memory of Christophe Le Canne.
C. Stiles
A "ghost bike" hangs in memory of Christophe Le Canne.

Bertonatti's regular gigs soon turned into a national contract in February 2008 with Sony ATV and Epic Records, which signed on to promote his debut, Times Are Good.

The musical success didn't change Bertonatti's driving habits. He even joked about it on his MySpace page, bragging that he once flipped a car in reverse. Since 2003, Bertonatti has notched 30 citations, for everything from running a stop sign to driving without a license or insurance to skipping tolls and speeding.

In October 2009, following six tickets earlier in the year, the state finally suspended his license. That didn't stop him from blowing through a 50 mph zone at more than 80 this past January 8. He was cited for speeding and driving without a license.

Just more than a week later, he hopped into his silver 2007 Volkswagen Jetta early in the morning Sunday, January 17. Police haven't said how fast Bertonatti was traveling when he slammed into Le Canne, a South Miami resident, father, and avid travel photographer. But witnesses estimated he was going close to 70 on a bridge with a 45 mph speed limit.

When police arrested him — after he dragged Le Canne's bike under his fender for three miles, right to the front of his condo on Grape Tree Drive — Bertonatti refused to believe he'd killed anyone. "You're lying to me! Cops do that stuff all the time," he yelled as officers strapped him to a backboard and forcibly took a blood sample.

Bertonatti faces counts of felony DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving without a license, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and resisting arrest. His first court appearance is set for February 8.

His lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, did not return multiple calls for comment. The last phone number listed for the Key Biscayne condo has been disconnected.

In the meantime, Bertonatti is a free man. As usual — for $100,000 bond this time — his family bailed him out.

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Deport this clan, fcol, this family is involved in one scam or another constantly. Let them do whatever they want, wherever they are from, but just not here.

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