Michele Traverso will spend at least the next two years in prison for violating probation after having already previously served 22 months for the 2012 hit-and-run death of cyclist Aaron Cohen.
Last Saturday, Traverso was supposed to be in his parent's Key Biscayne condo when a probation officer came to check in on him at 5 a.m. Traverso was actually on the beach behind the building. He said he was there because his parents wouldn't let his girlfriend stay in the condo.
Judge William Thomas ruled that it was a violation of his probation and sentenced the 28-year-old to 48 months in prison, though he will get credit for time served. Ultimately he'll spend another 22 to 24 months behind bars.
Traverso was originally sentenced for an incident that occurred on February 15th, 2012. Then 25-years-old, Traverso was driving over the Rickenbacker Causeway in the early hours of the morning on a suspended license. He had allegedly been out drinking earlier in Coconut Grove.
His car veered into the bike lane and hit two cyclists. Aaron Cohen, a father of a young child, died as a result of his injuries. Traverso left the scene and didn't turn himself until 18 hours later. Authorities were unable to prove whether he was intoxicated at the time of the accident or not.
He ended up pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving death, leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm and driving with a suspended license and received what many saw as a relatively light sentence.
Cohen's widow Patty is pleased that Traverso is facing consequences for violating his probation.
"You'd think, it would be pretty simple to just stay at home when you're supposed to be at home--you're a grown man, you've been through all of this and have gotten so many breaks from the system," she told CBS4.
Patty Cohen ended up helping to push through legislation in Tallahassee to strengthen penalties against hit-and-run drivers like Traverso.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.