TAMPA, Fla. — Attorneys for the two teens accused of drag racing on Bayshore Boulevard and killing a mother and daughter are trying to get key evidence thrown out.
The black Mustang, investigators say hit and killed Jessica Raubenolt and her 1-year-old daughter, has a computer system police took as evidence in 2018.
But an attorney for the teenage driver says police did not include that computer system in their warrant.
“The infotainment telematics system was taken out of the vehicle by the police, downloaded, data extracted — something they didn’t even ask to do,” said defense attorney John Fitzgibbons.
The system syncs up with the driver’s cell phone and could be key in showing where the car was and how fast it was going.
Raubenolt was pushing her daughter in a stroller across Bayshore when the Mustang, driven by Cameron Herrin, hit them.
Investigators say he was racing a Nissan, driven by John Barrineau, at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.
Both teens are charged with two counts of vehicular homicide.
But their lawyers say the two weren’t racing.
They call it a low-velocity collision with no skid marks or video proof.
“There also was no evidence that the drivers of the two vehicles were communicating in any manner, which is often a precursor or part of engaging in a race,” said Fitzgibbons.
Prosecutors say police took the computer system legally as evidence. And whether or not the teens were racing doesn’t matter.
“From the very get-go of this case people have focused so much on this racing, racing, racing. But the crime of vehicular homicide only requires reckless driving. There’s not in a vehicular homicide that says the vehicles must be racing,” said assistant state attorney Aaron Hubbard.
The judge says he’ll issue a written ruling by Thanksgiving as to whether or not the Mustang’s computer system can be used as evidence.