Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Driver who killed passenger moves closer to clemency with support of Alex Sink

Jennifer Martin, 29, was 18 when her speeding caused an accident that killed one and injured another. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Times photo

Jennifer Martin, 29, was 18 when her speeding caused an accident that killed one and injured another. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

After almost eight years in prison, Jennifer Martin, 29, will get an expedited clemency hearing, thanks to Florida's chief financial officer, Alex Sink.

In April, Sink, who is on the state clemency board, read a story in the St. Petersburg Times about Martin's 16-year prison sentence for speeding and causing an accident that killed one passenger and injured another near Ybor City in 1998.

Martin was 18 at the time and had no alcohol in her system. In the story, her prosecutor, the judge and the injured victim said they supported consideration for clemency.

"Jennifer's story is compelling," said Sink, "especially in light of other cases involving celebrities with alcohol in their systems who got much lighter sentences."

Sink said she asked her staff to look into Martin's case and advise her if it thought she warranted a hearing. Thursday, Sink said their mini-investigation had convinced her that Martin's case should be heard. It is set for Dec. 10.

"We'll listen to both sides before deciding," Sink said.

The clemency board consists of the governor, the state attorney general, the agriculture commissioner and Sink. If the governor recommends clemency and two of the three cabinet members agree, Martin's sentence will be commuted.

"We're grateful to Ms. Sink and her staff for the opportunity to present Jennifer's case for clemency," said Martin's attorney, Melinda Tindell.

Driver who killed passenger moves closer to clemency with support of Alex Sink 07/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay

    Blogs

    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  2. What you need to know for Wednesday, July 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A heart-shaped box containing Katie Golden's ashes sits next to her picture at her family's South Tampa home. Katie died from a drug overdose in April 2017. She was only 17-years-old. Read about her parents' journey at tampabay.com. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times]
  3. Cuban diplomat reflects on U.S. relationship: 'Cuba was treated horribly'

    Perspective

    Few topics are more controversial in Florida than Cuba, a nation that has held fast to Communism despite lying 90 miles from the shores of a capitalist superpower. It's a place where startling poverty results from either a longtime U.S. trade embargo or a half-century of Communism, depending on one's point of view. …

    Carlos Alzugaray spent a half century as a scholar and diplomat for the Cuban government, including a stint as ambassador to the European Union.
  4. Clearwater residents avoid tax rate increase for ninth year in row

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Residents will avoid a rate hike on their property taxes for the ninth year in a row as taxable values continue to recover from recession levels, padding city coffers.

    Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said the city must be prepared for unexpected expenses. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  5. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.