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Hit-and-run driver who killed UT student takes plea deal with 15 years in prison

TAMPA — The man accused of killing a University of Tampa student in a hit-and-run crash last year agreed to a plea deal Tuesday that includes 15 years in prison, according to the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

Andres Trujillo, now 28, was driving west on Kennedy Boulevard at N Boulevard in November 2009 when he veered onto the sidewalk and struck Erik V. Nicoletti and Cree Riley.

Nicoletti, 20, and Riley, then 19, were both injured. Nicoletti died later.

Trujillo fled. Sheriff's deputies later found his car abandoned in a ditch with its windshield caved in and its front end smeared with blood and hair.

During the investigation, Trujillo told detectives he dropped a cigarette and when he reached down to pick it up, felt the car hit something. He initially thought it was a small vehicle or motorcycle, but later learned he had hit two people.

The crash left Nicoletti, a UT film student from New York, brain dead and on life support. He died within days. Riley, a student at Penn State at the time, suffered broken bones on her right side.

On Tuesday, Trujillo pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident with injury and leaving the scene of an accident with death. The plea deal includes 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation, as well as the lifetime revocation of his driver's license, said Mark Cox, a spokesman for the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. Another court hearing is set for Feb. 8.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at srossetter@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3374

Hit-and-run driver who killed UT student takes plea deal with 15 years in prison 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:14pm]
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