Wednesday, January 24, 2018

City of Tallahassee settles informant death suit for $2.6 million

TALLAHASSEE — Tallahassee city commissioners approved a $2.6 million settlement Friday in the wrongful-death suit of a police informant who was fatally shot during a 2008 drug sting.

The parents of Rachel Hoffman, 23, sued after her death, claiming police were negligent in setting up the Florida State graduate as an undercover informant after she was caught with marijuana and pills without a prescription.

Jury selection for the lawsuit began this week and the trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

After a closed-door session with attorneys Friday, commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the settlement, the first $200,000 of which will be paid by the city in the next few weeks, City Attorney Jim English said.

The rest will be paid after the Florida Legislature passes what is known as a "claims bill," which could take years.

Nonetheless, Irv Hoffman, Rachel's father, said he was "just grateful for this part of it to be over."

Rachel Hoffman of Safety Harbor was shot five times after police lost track of her during a purported drug deal in a rural area north of Tallahassee. Her body was found 36 hours later in a roadside ditch in Taylor County, roughly 50 miles away.

Deneilo Bradshaw, 26, from St. Croix, and his stepbrother-in-law Andrea Green, 29, are serving life sentences for Hoffman's murder.

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