• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

    Miami Real Estate Broker Pleads Not Guilty to Careless Boating Charges

    ByJames Forsyth

    Sep 20, 2023
    Miami Real Estate Broker Pleads Not Guilty to Careless Boating Charges

    Miami real estate broker George Pino has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor careless boating charges. Pino’s lawyer, Howard Srebnick, entered the plea during a Zoom call with Miami-Dade County Judge Lizzet Martinez. Pino, 52, was operating a 29-foot Robalo center console boat on September 4, 2022, when he crashed into a fixed channel marker in South Biscayne Bay, causing all 14 people on board to be thrown into the water. One passenger, 17-year-old Luciana Fernandez, died the following day from injuries sustained in the crash, while another passenger, 18-year-old Katerina Puig, was left with permanent disabilities.

    It was determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash, despite the discovery of more than 60 empty alcohol bottles and cans on the boat. Pino declined to voluntarily submit blood for alcohol testing, citing the absence of his lawyer. However, footage from the officer’s body-worn camera contradicts this claim, with Pino stating that he had consumed two beers and refusing to submit blood.

    The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office filed three counts of misdemeanor careless boating charges based on the officer’s report, as higher charges could not be pursued. This decision has caused outrage among the Fernandez and Puig families, who have filed a lawsuit alleging that Pino and his wife provided alcohol to the 12 teen girls onboard the boat.

    The families raised concerns about Pino’s explanation for the crash, as it was not corroborated by any witnesses. A status hearing for the case has been scheduled for October 3, with the judge suggesting that a trial could take place in late October or early November.

    – David GoodhueSeptember 19, 2023 at 4:30 PM