TAMPA, Fla. - A week before their trial was set to begin, 21-year-old Cameron Herrin and 20-year-old John Barrineau decided to go their separate legal ways.
Herrin is leaving his fate up to the judge, according to his attorney, John Fitzgibbons, who said during a virtual hearing his client would enter an open plea.
His co-defendant, John Barrineau went a safer route. His attorney Anthony Rickman said they reached a negotiated plea agreement with the state.
John Barrineau (L) and Cole Herrin (R)
Prosecutor Aaron Hubbard says the victim's family approved the plea deal.
"He is to plead guilty to the two vehicular homicide charges and misdemeanor racing charge for a sentence of six years in Florida state prison followed by 15 years of probation," said Hubbard.
The two pleas come after a horrific scene unfolded on Bayshore Boulevard in May of 2018.
Herrin and Barrineau are accused of racing and causing a fatal crash that killed Jessica Raubenolt and her one-year-old baby, Lilia.
Family photo of David, Jessica, and Lillia Raubenolt.
Last Christmas, Lilia's father, David Raubenolt urged the judge to put on a stop to all the delays.
"Since the unspeakable death of my wife and daughter, I’ve suffered horrifically every moment. It is nearly impossible to put into words the agony of this legal process and the decay of my life during this time," said an emotional Raubenolt.
Jessica's father, Bob Reisinger voiced the same frustration this summer.
"I believe justice is being denied because justice is being delayed," said Reisinger.
Recently, Herrin and Barrineau's attorneys fought to have key evidence in the case thrown out, including the computer system in the Ford Mustang that recorded Herrin's speed at the time of the crash. The attorneys claim the equipment was obtained without a legal warrant.
Hillsborough County circuit judge Christopher Nash didn't buy it.
"I'm entering an order denying the defendants' motion to suppress evidence seized as a result of the execution of the warrant for the 2018 Ford Mustang," ruled Nash.
That ruling may have been the tipping point for today’s pleas, a long-awaited resolution Jessica and Lilia’s family have been desperately seeking.
Both Herrin and Barrineau will appear before Judge Nash in a virtual hearing on Thursday to enter a formal plea of guilty.
Herrin will be sentenced during an in-person hearing in 45 days. He faces up to 30 years in prison. Judge Nash will announce his decision then.