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. Florida 'Dreamers' worry Obama-era protection will disappear

    Blogs

    Andrea Seabra imagined the worst if Donald Trump won: "I thought on the first day he would say, 'DACA is done' and send immigration officers to every house."

    Mariana Sanchez Ramirez, 23, poses on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.
  2. Siesta Key: 4 things you need to know about MTV's new Florida reality series

    Blogs

    By now you probably know MTV shot a reality series in the number one beach in America. Siesta Key, airing Monday at 10, follows a group of young adults as they navigate life in their early 20s over a summer in sunny Florida.

    The cast of Siesta Key during press interviews at Gary Kompothecras's mansion in Siesta Key. The MTV series premieres July 31 at 10 p.m.
  3. Times recommends: Rick Baker for St. Petersburg mayor

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg voters are fortunate to have two experienced candidates for mayor. Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker have deep roots in the city and long records of public service. Both have helped transform St. Petersburg into an urban success story. At this moment, Baker is the better choice to keep the …

    The Tampa Bay Times editorial board recommends Rick Baker for St. Petersburg mayor. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

  4. The goal of a new program in Hillsborough schools: Read a book in English, discuss it in Spanish

    K12

    TAMPA — Giadah and Gamadiel Torres are 5-year-old twins. "We were born at the same time," is how Giadah explains their birth.

    Twins Giadah and Gamadiel Torres, 5, learn about the dual language program they will enter this year at Bellamy Elementary School. [SARAH KLEIN | Special to the Times]
  5. Why don't defensive players get more Heisman Trophy love?

    Blogs

    In a story we posted online earlier today (and coming to your doorstep in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times), I made my case for why Florida State safety Derwin James should be a preseason …

    Boston College defensive end Harold Landry didn't get any Heisman love last year, despite leading the country in sacks.