Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police make arrest in Saturday's fatal hit-and-run

TAMPA — Two days after police say someone hit a pedestrian and left him to die in the road, 30-year-old Jason Burnham was charged with the crime.

One of Burnham's co-workers pointed detectives to him after noticing that Burnham's damaged Ford Explorer matched a description of the suspect sport utility vehicle on the news.

While detectives were investigating the tip, Burnham of 37606 Tall Pines Drive in Zephyrhills contacted them and arranged a meeting.

After an interview, detectives arrested Burnham on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash with death and booked him into the Hillsborough County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $15,000 bail. Jail records say he is a painter.

The crash happened at almost 1 a.m. Saturday.

Aaron Keith Cordes, 57, was pushing a blue shopping cart across 50th Street and Broadway. He was in the crosswalk but walking against the traffic light.

An SUV that police now say was being driven by Burnham hit Cordes. Then it kept going.

Several witnesses rushed to try to help Cordes. Soon, Tampa police officers and firefighters arrived and started CPR before Cordes was taken to a hospital.

But the man's injuries were too severe, police said, and he was later pronounced dead.

Police released a description of the suspect SUV, including a detail that the vehicle would probably have blue paint from Cordes' shopping cart on its smashed front end.

According to detectives, Burnham's co-worker said Burnham told him that his SUV had been damaged when he hit a deer. But there was blue paint in the dent, the co-worker told detectives.

This is Burnham's ninth arrest in Florida. The previous charges included marijuana possession, fleeing from police and failing to appear in court, and he was charged in another hit-and-run in 2000, according to records from the state Department of Law Enforcement. He was ordered to serve more than two weeks on that charge, jail records show.

His driving record includes infractions for speeding, careless driving, displaying an improper tag, driving with a suspended license and failure to pay fines.

His license, which was suspended in 2009, had been reinstated six months ago.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Reach Kim Wilmath at or 813-226-3337.

Tampa police make arrest in Saturday's fatal hit-and-run 05/16/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

  2. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors


    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  3. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium


    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  4. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  5. Editorial: Genshaft right to oust USF St. Petersburg leader


    In times of crisis, leaders cannot abandon ship and be unclear about their whereabouts. That is essentially what the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg did with Hurricane Irma headed this way. Sophia Wisniewska's actions fell short of what should be expected from an experienced administrator …

    Sophia Wisniewska’s actions fell short of what should be expected from an experienced administrator responsible for the safety of her students and the security of her campus, and the move by USF president Judy Genshaft, above, to fire her was appropriate.