Repeat Child Molestor Sentenced to Life, Drunkard Faces 15 Years in Killing of Laura Hrobsky
FlaglerLive | October 1, 2015
In a pair of decisions involving high-profile cases Thursday, a judge sentenced Meshac Molette Abentego, 43, a previously convicted sex predator, to a mandatory life prison sentence for molesting a child in a house where Abentego was helping out as a handyman. And a jury took just 19 minutes to find Sandra Dee Heilman, 44, of Daytona Beach, guilty of causing a death while driving drunk, in the killing of 22-year-old Laura Hrobsky in November 2012 on Beville Road in Volusia.
A jury had deliberated less than 15 minutes in late July to find Abentego, a homeless man, guilty of of lewd and lascivious molestation of a 9-year-old
girl. Abentego was a friend of the girl’s family. He’d been helping her mother move into a new home. The girl had been sleeping in her bed when she was startled awake as Abentego was feeling her butt, his hands inside her pajamas. When the girl was asked how she knew this, she said: “I felt it, I thought it was a cockroach,” then she rose and saw him.
Abentego had been a registered sexual predator in new Smyrna Beach before that incident, stemming from a conviction for raping a 5 year old. Abentego also has an extensive criminal history including convictions for aggravated assault, carrying a concealed firearm, grand theft, sale of cocaine, and attempted rape.
Because of that history, prosecutors successfully sought a Prison Releasee Reoffender designation at a sentencing hearing today in front of Circuit Judge Leah Case, who then imposed the mandatory life sentence. He will not be eligible for parole.
In Sandra Heilman’s case, a jury of four women and two men found the Daytona Beach woman guilty of DUI causing a death, with her sentencing date yet to be set.
Heilman was driving a 2007 Ford Fusion just after 3 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2012, going 61 in a 35 on Beville Road when she rear-ended 22-year-old Laura Hrobsky, who’d been stopped at a red light. Hrobsky was pronounced dead at the scene. Heilman’s blood-alcohol level was .152, almost two times the legal limit. Heilman also tested positive for THC, with further evidence showing that she’d been distracted by her cell phone at the time of the crash: phone records showed she’d been checking her voice mail for 39 seconds in the time-span surrounding the crash. A resident of the area of the crash, she could not explain, during her interview after the crash, where she was, even though she was near a business she used to run.
Assistant State Attorneys Laura Coln and Michael Willard, both of the State Attorney’s Career Criminal Unit, prosecuted the case. Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Marriott presided over the case and will pronounce sentence.