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Hillsborough man sentenced to 7 years for boating crash that killed girl, 12

Family and friends of Jasina Campbell addressed the court before the judge sentenced Andrew Miltner.
Coquina Gibbs Gillian, mother of Jasina Campbell, walks back to her seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa.
Coquina Gibbs Gillian, mother of Jasina Campbell, walks back to her seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Sep. 1, 2022|Updated Sep. 2, 2022

TAMPA — Three days before she was hit and killed by a watercraft on the Alafia River, 12-year-old Jasina Campbell called her grandmother, Donna Campbell, to ask her to go shopping at Joann Fabrics.

She didn’t know that would be the last time her granddaughter called her, Donna Campbell said at the sentencing hearing for the man who caused Jasina’s death, but she’s glad she picked up the phone.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Samantha Ward sentenced 42-year-old Andrew Miltner to seven years in prison followed by eight years of probation Thursday, two weeks after he was convicted of vessel homicide by a Tampa jury on Aug. 18. That jury did not convict him of charges alleging that he was drunk when he crashed a personal watercraft into a raft carrying Jasina and another girl on May 17, 2020.

Andrew Miltner looks back at his family at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa.
Andrew Miltner looks back at his family at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Miltner, who has a history of drug and alcohol-related charges, will be required to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program for 18 months after he’s released and must attend weekly Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for at least the remainder of his probation — although Ward suggested he go for the rest of his life.

In addition, Ward sentenced Miltner to 100 hours of community service, and Miltner asked for permission to spend that time talking to high school students about the importance of boating and drug safety, using his own life as an example.

Jasina’s family and the prosecution had requested Miltner be punished to the fullest extent of the law, which is 15 years in prison. The defense sought a reduced sentence of 54 months in prison.

Related: Trial recounts horror of Alafia River crash that killed 12-year-old

“Mr. Miltner deserves to suffer the rest of his life,” Coquina Gibbs Gillian, Jasina Campbell’s mother, said. “He continues to dishonor her memory.”

In a tearful hour of victim impact statements, family and friends of Jasina Campbell talked about the final moments they shared together and the life milestones she’ll never see.

Jasina’s younger sister Aurelia said she recalled going to Disney World wearing princess dresses and crawling into bed with her sister when she was scared of the thunder.

Jasina Campbell, 12, was killed May 17 in a crash on the Alafia River. A Riverview man faces criminal charges in the death..
Jasina Campbell, 12, was killed May 17 in a crash on the Alafia River. A Riverview man faces criminal charges in the death.. [ Courtesy of the Campbell family ]

Jason Campbell, Jasina’s father, told the court he should be sitting nervously in a passenger seat while his daughter, who would be 15 now, learns to drive. He’ll never get to take her pictures at prom, or walk her down the aisle at her wedding, either.

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He said it has been 837 days since Jasina was killed, but for him, it is Day 1 — every day is, as he wakes up and relives that day over and over.

“I knew that my life …” Jason Campbell started as he began to cry. “I knew that my life was never going to be the same again.”

Jason Campbell, father of Jasina Campbell, walks back to his seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa.
Jason Campbell, father of Jasina Campbell, walks back to his seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Gibbs Gillian said she’s been diagnosed with ADHD because she can’t focus on anything after her daughter’s death, and she has been diagnosed with insomnia, too.

“My mom acts so much different than what she used to act like,” Aurelia Campbell wrote in her statement, read by Donna Campbell. “She’s more protective and more just different, but I just think it’s because she misses Jasina.”

Aurelia Campbell wrote she still has trauma from that day, too.

“Where’s my baby?” she remembers her mother screaming.

Gibbs Gillian said Jasina’s younger brother, who has autism, often has night terrors now. He calls Aurelia to ask her when she’s coming home because he’s scared to lose anyone else.

Coquina Gibbs Gillian, mother of Jasina Campbell, walks back to her seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa.
Coquina Gibbs Gillian, mother of Jasina Campbell, walks back to her seat after giving a statement at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Thursday in Tampa. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

None of the family members looked at Miltner as they walked back to their seats.

After Jasina’s family and attorneys from both sides spoke, Miltner and his family members addressed the court.

Miltner broke into tears as he spoke to Jasina’s family.

“I wouldn’t feel right even asking you for mercy,” Miltner said. “This has changed and damaged my life, but nothing compared to what’s been done to you all.”

Joel Miltner, Andrew Miltner’s father, said his son has an addiction problem and had been drinking the night his vessel hit Jasina. He said his son told him it was an accident.

Joel Miltner told the court his son had remorse over what he had done, something Jasina’s family said he hadn’t shown.

After Ward handed down the sentence, there were murmurs of disappointment from Jasina’s family sitting in the courtroom.

Aurelia Campbell listened from the back row. In her statement, she said she had been excited to grow even closer to her sister as they went through their teenage years together. They were about two years apart in age.

“Because of that man, I cannot,” she wrote.