TAMPA, Fla. - Hillsborough Judge Barbara Twine Thomas had to drop the temperature in her virtual hearing between Michelle McDonald and Gilbert Escobedo, the man responsible for her son's death.
"Please do not speak. Do not speak any further," ordered Thomas with a raised hand.
McDonald's son, Zachary Marcano, was killed in a deadly crash on a Ruskin road in October 2016.
Investigators say Escobedo and Marcano were acquaintances that had been arguing. They say Escobedo took off in his pickup truck and Marcano followed him on his motorcycle. The two were involved in a road rage crash that turned deadly.
Escobedo fled the scene in his truck and Marcano was thrown off his bike and struck and killed by another vehicle.
Now four years later, Escobedo is done serving his prison sentence, and under his plea deal, wants to terminate his probation three years early. Escobedo, who is representing himself says a different judge agreed to it.
"She granted me early termination if I completed everything. I completed everything, your honor. She also said I wasn’t the cause of the victim's death," pleaded Escobedo.
But Marcano's mother fired back.
"He is the direct reason my son is dead. He hit him on his motorcycle, which caused him to be run over and left him there," said a tearful McDonald.
The heartbroken mother was interrupted by Escobedo who tried to explain his actions. At that point, the judge put a stop to it.
"Only the person that I asked to speak is speaking, please. Do not speak," demanded Judge Thomas.
And just like that, the heated exchange was over. Judge Thomas Twine recognized a broken mother's anguish.
“I know that the sting of death it’s one that lingers especially for a mother and you do have my condolences," said Thomas.
Judge Thomas says she will announce her decision by the next hearing in January.