A Miami-area personal injury lawyer faces multiple charges including DUI manslaughter in his alleged involvement in the tragic early December death of a pedestrian in the area. The deceased victim, Tatum Holloway, 26, who was originally from South Africa, was reportedly found by a passerby lying face down in a storm drain sometime after 2:30 a.m. Holloway apparently was crossing the street at a crosswalk after picking up some food at McDonald’s when she was hit by a car and thrown into the air. The vehicle in question allegedly left the scene.
In addition to DUI manslaughter/failure to render aid, authorities charged the suspect, Marcos Antonio Gonzalez-Balboa, 65, with vehicular homicide/failure to stop, leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, and tampering with physical evidence, the Miami Herald reported. Attorney Gonzalez-Balboa reportedly owns a Miami Lakes personal injury law firm which specializes in representing plaintiffs in all kind of accidents including those of the motor vehicle variety.
Cops found part of a Mercedes-Benz bumper at the scene. Acting on a tip, a detective allegedly traced the debris to Gonzalez-Balboa’s vehicle “and saw the car’s front end damage matched what happened in the hit-and-run crash.” The windshield on the Benz had also been replaced. Authorities reportedly have also obtained other forms of evidence in the course of their investigation.
When he was detained, the suspect claimed that a coconut struck his windshield but cops indicated that there were no coconut trees at the accident scene according to the arrest warrant, the Miami Herald separately noted.
A Miami-Dade County circuit judge initially set the suspect’s bail at $150,000, but subsequently reduced it to $75,000, and he was processed at the Miami-Dade jail. He will be subject to house arrest upon his release.
According to Law.com, the suspect allegedly may have been partying on the night in question.
“Gonzalez-Balboa spent nearly $350 on at least 20 drinks at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables on the evening Holloway was killed, according to an affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant. The number of drinks the attorney actually consumed is unknown. Video footage at the parking garage he left that night showed him stumbling before reaching his car and having trouble paying for parking.”
The family of Tatum Holloway has already filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Gonzalez-Balboa for alleged reckless driving and failure to yield, ABC affiliate WPLG reported. Upon the suspect’s arrest, the Halloway civil attorney offered these comments.
“For four months Tatum’s parents waited to learn what happened to their daughter and tonight they finally have some answer. The fact that he is a lawyer makes this horrible tragedy all the more outrageous. Tatum was an angel and she never would have treated the man who killed her as he treated her. He never even stopped to assist her.”
Personal injury attorney Marcos Gonzalez-Balboa reportedly has a history of traffic infractions, the Herald added.
“Between 1993 and 2013, he was issued 22 tickets. Most of them were dismissed, but his record shows convictions for careless driving, speeding and running a stop sign. He also had two DUI cases dismissed. In a 2006 case, he was accused of DUI with property damage, but he wound up escaping with only a conviction for reckless driving.”
In an unrelated incident that occurred about two years ago, an attorney whose practice included suing drunk drivers for civil damages on behalf of DUI victims was pulled over for speeding in northwest Florida and arrested by sheriff’s deputies for suspicion of DUI. Prosecutors later dismissed the charge for lack of evidence, but the lawyer’s driver’s license was suspended for failure to submit to field sobriety and breathalyzer testing at the time of the stop.