Carlos Bertonatti Released On Key Biscayne House Arrest After Posting Bond

Last we heard from Carlos Bertonatti -- the handsome, would-be pop singer accused of killing a biker on the Rickenbacker Causeway while drunkenly speeding home from Club Space -- his bond had been revoked after prosecutors said he was a flight risk who had lied about owning multiple passports.

Well, Bertonatti is now back out of the slammer, released to house arrest in Key Biscayne after his lawyer proved that the multiple passport flap was an ICE mistake and his family put up ten percent of his $500,000 bond.

A little after 8 a.m. on January 17, police say a speeding Bertonatti drifted onto the shoulder of Bear Cut Bridge -- the last link on the causeway before Key Biscayne -- and slammed into Christophe Le Canne, a 44-year-old cyclist.

Bertonatti hit the gas and sped on toward his family's condo, leading police on a brief chase through the island with Le Canne's bike wedged under his bumper before his arrest. Police later said he was doing 80 mph on the bridge and that his blood-alcohol content was .122, over the legal limit of .08.

In a bizarre twist, his initial $100,000 bond was revoked in February, when prosecutors said he'd lied about having a second passport issued by Argentina, his father's homeland -- and suggested he may actually have a third, Romanian passport.

Turns out, they were wrong. ICE officials testified at Bertonatti's bond hearing last Monday that their database was incorrect, and that in fact he had only a single passport from Venezuela.

After that, Judge Jackie Scola allowed Bertonatti's family to post $50,000 and freed him with an electronic ankle monitor to the family's Key Biscayne home, says Leonard Sands, Bertonatti's lawyer.

"It was very difficult for the family to put together this bond. We're dealing

with this case, now, and we're ready to go forward," Sands tells Riptide.

Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, says his office was satisfied that they set a higher bond for Bertonatti than the recommended $7,500.

"We were successful in convincing the court that his flight risk was a real possibility," Griffith says. "He is entitled to post bond under the law. He isn't catching any breaks in this case."

Bertonatti's trial is set for February 22.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink