Ryan LeVin Pleads Guilty to Deadly Hit and Run, Pays Settlement, Gets House Arrest (Updated)

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Ryan LeVin, the hard-partying, bad-boy scion of an Illinois costume jewelry company, came clean to a judge today, admitting that he mowed down two British tourists in 2009 and fled the scene in his Porsche.

LeVin's punishment: He got grounded.

Judge Barbara McCarthy decided to throw the book at LeVin slap the Patrick Bateman lookalike on the wrists, giving him two years house arrest,
ten years' probation, and 1,000 hours of community service, not prison time.

That deal seems to have come about because LeVin paid off the victims' families.

In letters to the court, the victims' families asked that soft-spoken Circuit Judge McCarthy grant LeVin house arrest -- so that they could be sure to get settlement money. Most of details of the deal are secret.

Both the families' civil lawyers and David Bogenschutz, the high-profile lawyer who's representing LeVin, won't say how much it costs to essentially buy a favorable sentence.

Florida law requires that judges take victims' requests into consideration during sentencing, but their requests are not binding.

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The plea hearing decision began around 7:45 a.m. Friday when LeVin, as dapper as he was dour, walked in wearing glasses and a gray, pinstriped suit. The 36 year-old Levin - who'd previously pleaded not guilty to running over Craig Elford and Kenneth Watkinson (and who'd also at one point tried to pin the crime on his friend, Derek Cook) - told McCarthy that he now wanted to plead guilty.

LeVin mentioned to the judge that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia about a year ago. He said he was under treatment, but not on meds. Before sentencing, Bogenschutz asked the judge to consider a slimmer-than-required sentence because of the civil settlement between LeVin and the victims' families.

The victims' widows submitted letters to the court through their attorneys, which McCarthy read aloud. Both said that they were financially ruined --the victims were the sole breadwinners of their families - as well as emotionally devastated.

The basic gist of the nearly identical notes was that a sentence requiring house arrest, probation, and that LeVin never drive again would be bittersweet but would assure that the families get the cash that they needed to stay afloat. If LeVin was in prison, so the letters' reasoned, he might not pay up.

Prosecutor Stefanie Newman handled the move by showing a laundry list of LeVin's reckless lifestyle - felony fleeing and eluding in Illinois, coke possession, for starters - and pictures of the maimed British businessmen.

McCarthy, however, was unconvinced. She gave LeVin a sentence which, theoretically, lets the wild Midwesterner reflect on his actions poolside. Bogenschutz would not say in which home LeVin would serve out his sentence. 

After the hearing, LeVin hid out in the courtroom for an hour after completing the necessary paper work, to avoid reporters. He declined to comment to the Pulp.

Bogenschutz rejected the idea that his client had bought an easy out. Instead, he said, the short-sentence-and-settlement combo was "much more palatable" to all parties than straight-up jail time.

Bogenschutz also said that the schizophrenia explained LeVin's history of misbehavior. When asked why LeVin or his family had not checked into the man's mental health before the trial, Bogenschutz said: "You'd have to talk to the people that talked to him five, ten, 15 years ago."


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27 comments
Jerry
Jerry

Judge Barbara McCarthy probably got a few million from Ryan LeVin too. 

Frank McEvoy
Frank McEvoy

Maybe LeVin got the type of break a lot more (poor) people should get as a matter of course.

Steve Shartwel
Steve Shartwel

Remember justice is blind, but a wad of cash can sure tip those scales.  Are we really a society of laws?

Leslie Farkas
Leslie Farkas

Following a criminal conviction, the widows could likely have sued for a much larger amount in civil court than the hush money they got. But they probably wanted to avoid the hassle.

This jerk has no soul or conscience, has a long pattern of violations which include felony fleeing. I look forward to him violating his house arrest (does anybody think he wonn't?), I look forward to him committing his next act, as that may be the charm that really gets him sent away. (Too bad it'll likely cost someone their life)

goldbeme
goldbeme

Sure the villain got off almost Scot- free. But what we don't know is the settlement to the widows. What is better: millions for the widows and house arrest for the villain, or nothing for the widows and 30 years for the villain? Choose one.

DrLearnALot
DrLearnALot

Justice is for sale too.  Free market, etc.

Old_Warhorse
Old_Warhorse

So much for the "justice for all" part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Imgoobleman
Imgoobleman

a criminal miscarriage of justice.  this rich puke gets to live wild, party hard and MURDER people and get away with it because mommy and daddy have more money than brains.  i can't wait to see what the cosmic payback will be on this animal.  karma is a bitch.

Man09
Man09

 this isnt the first time Christopher Van Goethem a US Marine Soldier afrom the US embassy in Romania killed in a car accident Teo Peter a rock star , Van Goethem was drunk(breathalyzer test) but he was not put in front of justice in Romania cuz he has imunity he was flown to Germany the same night also he refused the blood test. In US he was found NOT Guilty cuz ,,there were no evidence that Teo Peter was in the car'' can u belive this Van Goethem is free enjoying his life while Teo Peter is dead and his family is suffering after this there was another case when this time Kevin Lloyd Sandling run over a women,the women survived this is the first story http://www.newsweek.com/2008/0...

hjs3
hjs3

Once again, it's apparent that their is the story you know, the one you don't know and the one you will never know...Equal bits of each here I'm guessing...(Feds are a good guess)Condolences to the families and hope at the very least they remain financially well positionedfor the duration.....Law of the land and justice took a left hook to the head on this one.

Morgan Sheridan
Morgan Sheridan

Dang, people in Florida are just so, so screwed by the government there.  Pity.  This killer belongs in prison. 

FieryLocks
FieryLocks

Special rules for special people. If this was done by you or me we would be locked up for years!

Cardinal Fang
Cardinal Fang

I hope the prosecutors or someone has the decency to appeal the sentence. He killed 2 people. The law says he should go to jail. No amount of money should put you above that law.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

The American Legal System . the best justice money can buy. No surprise of course he onlykilled two people and then tried to blame someone else.Just as well he didnt steal a bottle of milk from a seven eleven, then he really would have been in deep shit.

Nowbot
Nowbot

At the time of the hit-and-run, LeVin was on probation in Illinois for a 2006 high-speed chase in Chicago that injured a police officer and two motorists. He had multiple convictions in Florida, Illinois and Texas for speeding, disobeying traffic lights, improper lane passing, fleeing and eluding police officers, and cocaine possession.

And this disgusting judge gives him house "arrest" with no monitoring....only "his schedule".  They guy's already admitted he's a liar why would you believe his "schedule"?  Only hope is he'll violate terms and get the slam.  BUT that doesn't straighten out this disgusting "judge"...Impeach her! 

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Next up... John Goodman, the Polo club guy. His attorneys must be scrambling to change the venue to McCarthy's court. Mendhelson gets 4 years for misuse of reelection money and this murderer gets double secret probation. FUBAR. .

Pookyak
Pookyak

What about the protection of the citizenry of Fort Lauderdale from the likes of this self admitted guilty person?

Captlwr
Captlwr

I said from the very beginning of this case that it smelled of a "Fedreally Protected Drug Informant" - and now - after over two years - this outcome PROVES it !!

onlyinfortlauderdale
onlyinfortlauderdale

Jerry

I believe you could be right the Judge McCarthy got paid by Le Vin as well.  It seems it is the pay to play mentality at the Broward Courthouse.  I believe my X paid a large sum to my Judge in my divorce case as well.  My father has been a lawyer in Broward for around 50 years and said that the that the Broward Courthouse has become one of the most   corrupt courthouses in the U.S.. He also believes that the Judge in by divorce case was bought off. My X.s divorce lawyer's firm had a very large fund raiser for the judge in our divorce case. Bogy was Judge Barbara McCarthy's campaign treasurer.  THIS TO ME IS A HUGE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.  ONLY IN FORT LAUDERDALE DOES THIS CORRUPTION SEEM TO BE THE MODIS OPERANDI.  MONEY OVER MORALES IN BROWIERD!  TWO PEOPLE DEAD AND NO JAIL TIME!  LE VIN SHOULD HAVE PAID THE WIDOWS OF THE VICTIMS AND RECEIVED JAIL TIME NOT EITHER OR!

anonymous
anonymous

How do the Point of Americas residents feel about sharing their property with a  lying killer?  McCarthy also said the killer can use the gym, which owners just remodeled and now have to share with a lying killer.

Pat
Pat

His six months in Stateville may be a lot longer than he thinks. Rich, playboy killer? What could go wrong?

Steve Shartwel
Steve Shartwel

How about 30 years of bending over for the villain and millions for the widows.

Morgan Sheridan
Morgan Sheridan

If it was you or me, we'd be facing a death penalty.

Dee Robinson
Dee Robinson

Yes, The American Legal System is unfear and I wonder how this Judge Barbara McCarthy could be so easy. This lier should have gotten jail, fines & support for the widows. At the end, we never take with us all those things we buy with money. Unless some satisfaction will generate from the money is used to help those who are much less furtunate like those people in very poor countries with flies all over their bodies.

Nowbot
Nowbot

You are so right!  No ankle bracelet....he'll drink, go out....do whatever he wants after a couple of months "being a good boy".  Hey, Lindsay Lohan had to wear a braclet...but not killers in Ft. Lauderdale!  Two guys killed, two guys get no jail.  This judge should rot in hell.  I assure you this guy will f up again and I hope this judge takes it to heart!  She is now responsible big time.  Florida is a sunny place for shady characters, even those who sit on the bench.  What was her payoff?  Impeach this disgusting woman. 

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