Earlier this month, Carlos Bertonatti finally left his Key Biscayne house arrest and headed down to the Gerstein Justice Building to face charges that he drunkenly killed a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway in January 2010. His criminal trial, after nine delays, was at last scheduled to start last Monday.
It didn't happen. Bertonatti's case has been delayed yet again and is now set to resume in January -- a full two years after Christophe LeCanne was killed on his morning bike ride.
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"The prosecutor in the case is having surgery," says Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.
When Bertonatti appeared for a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 5, his attorney, the Miami Herald reported that his attorneys were heard discussing a plea deal and told a judge they were surprised to learn that prosecutors didn't have such a deal on the table.
But Griffith says that discussion has nothing to do with the delay, and that prosecutors never had any plea deal.
"We are ready to go to trial," he says. "This talk of a plea deal is only coming from one side in this case."
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Bertonatti's attorney, Leonard Sands, didn't return a call from Riptide to comment on the latest delay.
Bertonatti faces a felony DUI manslaughter charge as well as two other felonies. His trial is now scheduled to start in January.