BROOKSVILLE — A 20-year-old Spring Hill man accused of killing a 77-year-old man in a traffic crash in April 2009 was sentenced to nearly a year in county jail after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault.
Gregory Foster Dellea faced charges of vehicular homicide, manslaughter and reckless driving with serious bodily injury before entering his plea Thursday.
The Florida Highway Patrol initially concluded that the collision was an accident.
About three months later, Dellea confessed to authorities that he intentionally ran into Hipolito Colon's pickup while speeding along County Road 485.
After Dellea's confession, authorities reopened the case and charged Dellea.
But Dellea's attorney Peyton Hyslop said state law mandates that the state can't admit a confession unless it can prove a crime was committed. And since the FHP had already ruled the wreck was accidental, Dellea's confession stood a good chance of being dismissed during trial.
Dellea was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in county jail plus five years of probation and restitution to Colon's family. His driver's license will also be suspended for two years after his release.
"He's been through quite a bit of counseling, and he's doing much better," Hyslop said.
"It's been a very unfortunate case for everyone involved."
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.