His pickup struck a minivan at 100 mph, killing 4 family members in 2018. Here's how he'll pay.
WEST PALM BEACH — A Delray Beach man convicted in October in the 2018 vehicular homicide deaths of a family of four from Mexico and Argentina has received a 37-year prison sentence.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen imposed concurrent terms of 445.8 months on Paul Streater, who a jury found guilty in the April 28, 2018, deaths of 50-year-old Jorge Raschiotto from Argentina, his sister Veronica Raschiotto, 42, from Mexico and her two children, Diego 8, and Mia, 6.
The family was visiting South Florida for a reunion and was returning from a day at the beach when the fatal crash occurred, authorities said.
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Pickup hit speeds topping 100 mph seconds before wreck
Streater, now 25, faced 37 years to life in prison under the state's sentencing guidelines. At his trial, prosecutors argued that his pickup reached speeds topping 100 mph in the moments before crashing into the Rachiotto's minivan on South Federal Highway in Delray Beach.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office alleged that Streater was huffing a cannister of household dust cleaner prior to the crash. Defense attorney Samuel Halpern argued that the chemical found in Streater's bloodstream was inadvertently ingested due to the car having been cleaned and detailed that day.
Halpern said a "catastrophic" malfunction caused Streater's Chevrolet Silverado truck to accelerate, rendering its driver unable to stop.
The jury found Streater guilty on four counts of vehicular homicide, but not guilty on four counts of DUI manslaughter and three counts of DUI causing injury to a person or property.
Defense asked for new trial, saying evidence of guilt was insufficient
During a sentencing hearing that began March 17 and resumed March 22 at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, Streater's defense team presented oral arguments for separate motions for a judgment of acquittal, a new trial and a downward departure from the state sentencing guidelines.
In the motion for an acquittal, they argued that there was insufficient evidence to show that he was driving recklessly.
In seeking a new trial, the defense argued that the court erred in excluding testimony from a witness who stated during a deposition that Streater told her moments after the crash that his gas pedal got stuck. The court upheld an objection on the grounds that such a statement constituted an excited utterance.
Gillen denied each of the defense's motions. Over the objection of prosecutors, he granted Streater a $2 million bond in anticipation of an appeal, on the condition that Streater be placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor, and that he be under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections.
The judge also ordered that Streater surrender his passport to his attorneys, that he refrain from using drugs unless prescribed by a doctor, that he not drive, operate or be a passenger in a boat, and that he be subject to random drug testing.
Prior to the sentencing, Assistant State Attorney Storm Tropea read a statement from a relative of the Raschiottos. Streater still faces separate civil lawsuits filed by representatives for the estates of Jorge and Veronica Raschiotto.
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Julius Whigham II is a criminal justice and public safety reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @JuliusWhigham. Help support our work: Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Driver sentenced in 2018 Delray Beach crash that killed 4 family members