Families of victims of crimes in Ninth Judicial Circuit hope for harsher penalties under new state attorney

Newly appointed state attorney Andrew Bain has pledged that his team will take a look at pending cases involving serious crimes.

Families of some victims tell FOX 35 News they are counting on it.

"The loss of my sister has been just a terrible tragedy for our family," said Dennis Kastanis, whose sister was shot and killed in April.

Allison Sheehan was allegedly shot in the back by her boyfriend Richard Raciak. Raciak was arrested on a first-degree murder charge, but about a month later, prosecutors working under now-suspended state attorney Monique Worrell charged Raciak with second-degree murder instead.


"He shoots my sister in the back twice, I don’t know how you can’t charge first-degree murder, based on that information," Kastanis said.

Kastanis and his family are hoping the office under Bain will upgrade the charge before the trial starts in October. Raciak is currently being held in the Orange County jail with no bond.

"State Attorney Bain and his leadership team will conduct a thorough review of previously dropped cases involving homicide, sex crimes, drug trafficking, and major violent crimes to ensure that justice is served and public safety is upheld," the state attorney's office said in a statement.