Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teen accused in Hyde Park hit-and-run death expected to plead guilty in November

TAMPA — The Davis Islands teen accused of fleeing a fatal crash this year is expected to plead guilty and be sentenced later this fall.

At a court hearing Thursday for Jordan Valdez, her attorney indicated she will enter the change of plea Nov. 24. Valdez faces an adult charge of leaving the scene of an accident with death.

Prosecutors and the defense have been unable to reach a plea agreement in the case.

"We're asking that the judge sentence her as a juvenile, they're asking that the judge sentence her as an adult," said defense attorney Ty Trayner.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, but the state is not seeking prison time or a conviction for Valdez. The exact terms of the plea offer have not been disclosed.

A 2007 Nissan Murano usually driven by Valdez, then a 16-year-old junior at Academy of the Holy Names, was linked to a Feb. 8 crash that killed a homeless woman as she crossed Hyde Park Avenue near the Davis Islands bridge. The victim was Melissa Sjostrom, 33.

Trayner said the hearing on Nov. 24 could be lengthy, with both sides bringing contingents to speak.

"We're going to try to bring as many people as we can," he said.

Valdez, 17, is now a senior at Academy of the Holy Names. She did not attend the hearing Thursday.

"I don't go anywhere without anyone coming up to me telling me what a great kid she is," Trayner said.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Teen accused in Hyde Park hit-and-run death expected to plead guilty in November 10/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 1, 2009 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle