“To the relief of Romano’s friends and family, the judge agreed and released him on bail.”
Earlier this year, Romano, 47, was convicted at his third trial of dangerous driving causing the death of 18-year-old Natasha “Carla” Abogado on Feb. 12, 2014. The detective was doing 115 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in his undercover Ford F-150 truck — without emergency lights or siren — to catch up to his surveillance team when he struck and killed the young woman jaywalking across St. Clair Ave. E. from a bus stop to to her home.
Now after a hung jury, an acquittal, a successful Crown appeal and now a conviction, he was finally going to learn his fate.
The Crown was asking for a year in jail. Defence lawyer Bill MacKenzie argued the exemplary officer shouldn’t be incarcerated for a tragic accident. As he began reading his reasons for sentence, Ontario Superior Court Justice Brian O’Marra seemed to be siding with Romano.
“A custodial sentence is required,” the judge concluded. While the Crown’s proposed one-year term was “excessive,” O’Marra sentenced Romano to eight months.
Family members began weeping. His colleagues looked at each other in shock.
While he was taken to a holding cell, all the other players walked across the courtyard to the Ontario Court of Appeal where lawyer Frank Addario insisted Romano should be granted bail while he appeals his conviction and sentence.
Among his arguments, Addario told Justice David Paciocco that if not freed on bail, Romano would end up serving his entire sentence before his appeal could even be heard. He’s not a flight risk, the proposed grounds of appeal aren’t weak and he’s always shown up for every court date since he was first charged in 2014, the lawyer added.
To the relief of Romano’s friends and family, the judge agreed and released him on bail.
And the Abogado family? They left the appeal court in tears as this never-ending nightmare refuses to end.