Cameron Herrin's bid to reduce 24-year sentence in Bayshore crash case denied by Hillsborough judge

In what was described as the "final opportunity" to reduce Cameron Herrin's sentence, a Hillsborough County judge declined to approve the motion. 

This week, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash formally rejected the request, according to court records. The motion was filed August, in which Herrin's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, used suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren's voicemail as an argument to reduce the sentence.

Soon after Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2021, Warren left a voicemail for Fitzgibbons, criticizing the sentence.

"Hey, John. It's Andrew Warren. It's about 4:30 on Friday. I just wanted to reach out and follow up after yesterday. Um, I, yes, call me at your convenience. Nothing urgent. Just wanted to share my thoughts on what happened yesterday. I tell ya, I was, uh surprised and even disappointed by the sentence. I thought it was excessively harsh. Um, but just wanted to follow up with you when you get a chance. This is my cell phone [redacted]. Uh, call me at your convenience."

PREVIOUS: Andrew Warren described Cameron Herrin's 24-year sentence as 'excessively harsh,' documents say

In the motion, Fitzgibbons also noted this is Herrin's "final opportunity" for a modified sentence. In Judge Nash's response, he acknowledged that Warren "criticized the very sentence his office had requested just one day earlier." Ultimately, the judge chose to deny the bid for a lesser sentence.

After the judge rejected the motion, a spokesperson for Warren provided the following statement to FOX 13: "As I’ve said, it’s no secret that I was surprised by the judge’s sentence because he went above the statutory guidelines. But our job was to hold the defendants accountable and deliver justice for Jessica and Lillia, and that’s exactly what we did."

Read the full order denying the motion here

Herrin was convicted of hitting and killing a mother and her baby while street racing on Bayshore Boulevard when he was 18.

In May 2018, Jessica Raubenolt and her one-year-old daughter Lillia were killed on Bayshore Boulevard. 

Herrin and fellow Tampa Catholic High School student John Barrineau — now both in their 20s — were racing on Bayshore Boulevard. Raubenolt was crossing the road, pushing her 20-month-old daughter in a stroller when Herrin slammed into her in a new Ford Mustang, a recent graduation present. Raubenolt died instantly and baby Lillia died a day later.

READ Timeline: Deadly 2018 Bayshore street-racing crash

In the three years since, the wheels of justice seemed to turn slowly as the prosecution and defense battled over everything from the admission of evidence to how the young men would plead.

Days before Christmas of 2019, the victim's husband, David Raubenolt, made a distraught plea for the judge to remove lengthy barriers in the way of the case going to trial.

Family photo of David, Jessica, and Lillia Raubenolt.

Barrineau cut a deal with the state in exchange for his cooperation and was sentenced to six years in prison. Herrin entered an open guilty plea, meaning Judge Christopher Nash ultimately decided his sentence – not a jury.

State guidelines suggested Herrin could get 18 years of prison time, though his lawyer argued for less. 

In August, Governor Ron DeSantis removed Warren from office under accusations of being soft on crime and having violated his oath of office. In a press conference following his suspension, Warren was asked about Herrin's appeal and the assertion that he supported a lower sentence for the now-22-year-old.

PREVIOUS: Hillsborough prosecutors argue against Cameron Herrin's 24-year sentence reduction request

Beyond calling Warren's statements irrelevant to the appeal, the state also pointed out in its response that Warren, at no time, raised official objections to Herrin's sentence.

"Mr. Warren never spoke on the record nor made an appearance in Court on behalf of the State of Florida during Defendant Herrin’s case. Neither the State of Florida nor Mr. Warren objected to the sentence the Court imposed. Despite invitations to do so, neither the State of Florida nor Mr. Warren joined in any post-sentencing motions or petitions Defendant Herrin sought regarding his sentence," the state attorney's office wrote.