Monday, December 12, 2016

Intoxicated FL Mom who Killed her 2 Sons & Injured 5 other Kids in a Rollover Crash is Arrested on 2 Counts of DUI Manslaughter ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Meet 33 y/o Tonya Capallia-Eason of Fernandina Beach, FL.  She's pretty, she's happy she's a mother of 3... well she was anyhow... That's her below...

I'm guessing that the picture above was taken sometime before October 22nd, 2016, because after October 22nd, 2016, when Tonya made a life changing (and life taking) piss poor decision, I don't think that Tonya has too much to be smiling about.

On Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, on her way home from a pre-Halloween party, Tonya crashed her car into a utility pole, killing her two sons, 8 y/o Nehemiah Capallia-Bird and 9 y/o Nicholai Capallia (pictured below) and also injuring five other children aged 7-15, all of whom were also inside of the vehicle, and including Tonya's 7 y/o daughter Nina (also pictured below).

The children's father, Andrew Bird, a firefighter who lives in Michigan, found out about the crash (including the death of his sons and the fact that his daughter was in the hospital) by way of a phone call from a parent of one of the other children who was in Tonya's SUV.   (No, that is not Andrew Bird below... it is just an illustration.)

According to 15 y/o James Nelson, one of the surviving passengers in Tonya's SUV, people tried to stop Tonya from driving, but she insisted, piling 8 children into her SUV before she failed to negotiate a turn, ran into a utility pole and flipped the vehicle, causing the death of her 2 boys and injuries to 6 other children.  

At the scene of the crash Tonya reportedly admitted to responding Florida Highway Patrol Troopers that she had consumed "two drinks, two shots and three or four pudding shots at the party" prior to getting behind the wheel.

Regardless of her admission Tonya was not taken into custody on Halloween evening but a criminal investigation began, an involuntary blood draw was done and DCF was called (unlike her sons, Nina, her daughter was alive and authorities had no intention of letting Tonya care for her).  Based in large part upon her admission of consuming all that booze before getting into a car with 8 children, custody of Nina was awarded to her father, as well as the remains of his sons.

It took 6 or so weeks but the blood work came back, an arrest warrant issued and on Saturday, December 10th, 2016 Tanya was booked into the Nassau County Jail on 2 counts of DUI Manslaughter (each a 2nd degree felony carrying up to 30 years - combined - in state prison) and she is now being held in custody on $500,000.00 bond.

Memo to the Folks:  This case defines the word "tragedy".  Not just because 2 young lives were lost but also because it was completely, 100%, avoidable.  Drinking and driving is a decision, and even if you happen to make it from point A to point B without incident, it is still not a good decision.  The lives of 8 y/o Nehemiah Capallia-Bird and 9 y/o Nicholai Capallia have been extinguished, the lives of 7 y/o Nina Capallia-Bird and her father Andrew Bird have been forever changed and Tonya, well...

Memo to the Folks continued:  Although I have been a practicing criminal defense lawyer for 25+ years and I have litigated my share of DUI manslaughter cases, still, as a parent to an 11 y/o boy I cannot even begin to imagine Andrew Bird's pain.  

Memo to the Folks continued:  There is a GoFundMe page for the "Andrew and Sara Bird Family Fund" (which you can access by clicking here).  Thus far they have raised just over $11,000 to help with unanticipated expenses (they had to leave work as first responders in MI to fly to FL, take custody of Nina, transport the boys' bodies and themselves back to MI, bury the boys and care for a traumatized Nina), so if you wish to help then visit their GoFundMe page (clickhere) and please do so.

Memo to the Folks continued:  Beware of alcohol.  Fun it is, but lead to bad decisions it does (sorry, but I have the Star Wars saga on in the background as I blog).

Memo to the Folks continued:  

When it comes to the subject of drinking and driving, the best advice that you are ever going to hear is:  "Don't do it!  Get a DD (Designated Driver), not a DUI".

Be smart{er than Joseph Maine}: Don't drink and drive, but, if you do, just say "NO{thing}", don't blow (in FL your 2nd subsequent refusal is a crime) and call me stat at 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220 or 1-888-SHARK-8-1.

Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Providing creative, effective and zealous criminal defense litigation services primarily in SoFlo since 1991.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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