Kayla "2 Drunk 2 Care" Mendoza Bond Set at $600,000
Kayla "2 Drunk 2 Care" Mendoza made her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon after having been arrested and formally charged with the deaths of Marisa Catronio and a passenger, Kaitlyn Ferrante, in a wrong-way car accident on the Sawgrass Expressway last November.
Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley set Mendoza's bond at $600,000.
The families of Catronio and Ferrante had pleaded with Hurley to deny Mendoza's bond.
Mendoza is facing eight criminal charges, including DUI manslaughter.
Mendoza, 20, who was in a wheelchair during her appearance while still recovering from her injuries, also heard from Ferrante's sister.
"Kayla Mendoza killed my sister, and I don't think it's at all fair for her to be set free and have any bond," Ashley Ferrante told Hurley during the appearance.
Hurley said he could not deny Mendoza bond but did choose to set it high because, as he said, he feared she could drive again, despite her current injuries.
"Getting out of jail, the court is concerned," Hurley said in his ruling. "I assume she's injured, but somehow, someway, she would operate a motor vehicle again with disregard to Florida law."
Hurley also noted that Mendoza had been busted in the past with driving without a license but that she never paid the fine.
While Mendoza wasn't denied bond, Hurley did rule that the $600,000 bond must be fully collateralized, which means she can't pay just 10 percent and have a bail bondsman pay the rest. Mendoza will have to pay the bond in full or remain under arrest.
On the night of November 17, Mendoza tweeted out "2 drunk 2 care" before driving a Hyundai Sonata the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway and crashing into a 2012 Toyota Camry, killing Catronio and Ferrante.
When interviewed by New Times weeks after the accident, Mendoza's family claimed her Twitter account had been hacked.
"We can't say who is hacking her account, but if I knew her password, I would shut it down," cousin Luis Massey told New Times. "All we can say is that someone is posting lies on there. It's slander on her Twitter. It's heinous, and whoever hacked it is very sad, that they would post such annoying comments."
A search warrant filed by the Florida Highway Patrol revealed that Mendoza had a blood-alcohol reading of .15 -- nearly twice the legal limit -- when she plowed into the victim's car. Mendoza also had traces of marijuana in her system.
The warrant also says that Mendoza had a blood sample taken about an hour after the accident, when she was taken to Broward Health North. A Florida Highway Patrol investigator took a second blood sample two hours after that.
Mendoza's Twitter account has since been deleted.
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