Man accused of hit-and-run that killed mother and son avoids prison time

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero
Published: Updated:
Katherine and Ronald Cujas

A man accused of a hit-and-run that killed a mother and son will not serve any prison time.

Instead, Courtney Masterson took a plea deal and will spend 15 years on probation for the crash that killed Kathy Cujas and her son Ronald Cujas.

In court on Friday, Masterson and the Cujas family spilled tears over the decision.

With the blessing of the judge, the state attorney and the Cujas family, Masterson will avoid prison time.

“There is a basis of departure from this case and I find that if you were to be incarcerated for this case it’d be an injustice for all,” said Judge Mark Steinbeck. “This was an isolated incident and you have shown remorse … Incarceration is not necessary.”

The crash happened in 2019 in Lehigh Acres along State Road 82.

Kathy and Ronald Cujas were dealing with a blown-out tire on Ronald’s vehicle when they were struck by Masterson’s red pickup.

Former Prosecutor Scot Goldberg said that no prison time is telling of the victim’s family.

Without their approval, he likely faced at least four years behind bars.

Goldberg said he believes the victims’ family likely doesn’t want another family to suffer like they have.

“Is it unusual? It is in the sense that you don’t see it that often,” Goldberg said. “At the same time, the law is there to allow the judge, and the prosecutors as well as the victim’s family to have a say in the outcome.”

“I don’t believe they think they’re walking away free. They probably think they’re very, very lucky that the victims were able to get past this because that’s what they would need to move on with their lives.”

Goldberg said less that 5% of deadly hit-and-runs end with a victim’s family agreeing to no prison time.

In addition to 15 years probation, Masterson can’t have a license for three years and must complete 160 hours of community service at a trauma center.

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