Breaking News

1 Comment

17-year-old charged as adult in hit-and-run

Crime Comments (1)

I’ll admit it. I hit an armadillo last week while I was…texting. I know, I know. Bad idea. “It could have been a person,” I thought. Until I looked in the mirror to see what it was.

Still, the remainder of the night I continued to think about, “What if it had been a person?” What would I have done? What if that person would have died?

Yes, I would have turned around. Yes, I would have been incredibly freaked out. And no, I don’t typically dream of vehicular homicide. My brain has been on Jordan Valdez, 17, who was involved in a hit and run on Feb. 8.

According to a story in the Tampa Bay Times, Valdez is a Tampa area high school student who lives on Davis Island (a ridiculously upper-class neighborhood). On Thursday, she was booked into jail.

The night of the incident, Valdez was coming home from cheerleading practice, was messing with her radio and CD’s, and fatally hit a homeless woman named Melissa Sjostrom, 33. She was 16 years old when this all happened.

So, she gets home and decides not to tell anyone for a while. Of course, the parents end up finding out, followed by the area police. “Based on the nature of the crime” Valdez was tried as an adult at 17.

The maximum sentence is 30 years. She’s obviously not going to get that.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, she was in jail for 22 minutes. Her attorney, Ty Trayner, said she won’t face jail time if she accepts a plea bargain.

For someone being “tried as an adult” this unknown plea bargain with no jail time seems a bit out of place. It has me wondering, What’s making the judgment so soft? It could be the fact that she’s still a child, the fact that the woman was homeless, the fact that Valdez is rich or maybe something I’m completely missing.

What do you think? Should age and status have as much pull on a judge’s decision as it does?

andrea @ July 12, 2009

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>