Woman Gets More Than 10 Years in Fatal DUI Crash in Kendall

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A woman who pleaded guilty in a DUI crash in Kendall that killed a man who was days away from his wedding will be spending more than 10 years behind bars.

Jessica Araujo, 27, was also given nine years of probation and five years of community service at sentencing Friday in the April 21, 2016 crash that killed 48-year-old Naji el-Kadi.

Police said Araujo was speeding on Southwest 127th Street when she drove through a red light and crashed into el-Kadi’s vehicle. The collision killed el-Kadi, who was days away from his formal wedding.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused your family,” Araujo told el-Kadi’s family at Friday’s sentencing hearing. “And I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused my family and everybody that cares about me.”

In addition to speeding, authorities said Araujo ‘s blood-alcohol level was nearly three times over the legal limit when it was tested. She had also been smoking marijuana and police found cocaine in her car.

El-Kadi’s widow left court without talking to reporters. So did Araujo’s family.

“We were hoping for a bit of a more lenient sentence based on the remorse shown by the defendant, who actually surrendered herself,” defense attorney Justin Beckham said after the hearing.

As part of her community service, Araujo will have to speak to young adults about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.