More than two years ago, wealthy heir Ryan LeVin plowed his white Porsche into two British tourists while speeding wildly on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, killing them both.
LeVin, now 36, fled the scene and repeatedly lied to authorities before they finally arrested him and charged him with two counts of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene last year. Today, he bought his way out of prison.
The severity of his crimes called for at least a 30-year sentence. But Broward Circuit Judge Barbara McCarthy today sentenced LeVin — who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to today’s court testimony — to two years house arrest, 1,000 hours community service, and ten years probation after he pleaded to killing the two men — Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48.
The families of Elford and Watkinson agreed to the incredibly light sentence in exchange for a piece of the LeVin fortune. The families, who are in England, said okay to confidential settlement with LeVin’s family, which runs a jewelry sales company called Jewels By Park Lane, that pays them a total of $4 million, according to a Local 10 source. In exchange for the money they agreed not to pursue the prison time.
Prosecutor Stephanie Newman, on behalf of the families, asked McCarthy to give LeVin, who also managed to escape severe punishment for serious brushes with the law in Illinois, a seemingly light sentence of ten years in prison. But the judge instead followed defense attorney David Bogenschutz’s request for no prison time at all.
Bogenschutz said after the sentence was handed down that the experience was a “real eye-opener” for LeVin and that he’d “learned his lesson.”