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Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
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Andrea Green gets life in prison; no possibility of parole

Andrea Green, one of two men charged in the slaying of confidential drug informant Rachel Hoffman of Pinellas County, will avoid the death penalty due to a surprise plea agreement. At a routine hearing Wednesday in Tallahassee to determine if Green would get a new lawyer, state prosecutors announced instead that Green would plead no contest to second-degree murder and robbery with a firearm. A sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole will be handed down Feb. 24, according to the agreement. Green and Deneilo Bradshaw were arrested following a botched drug sting in May of 2008 in which the Tallahassee Police Department lost Hoffman, 23, as she drove away to meet the men with marked bills to buy drugs and a handgun. The men later led police to her body, which had been dumped in Taylor County. Hoffman, a recent graduate of Florida State University, had been shot five times.
Lance Block, representing Hoffman's parents, said his clients had spoken for weeks with state attorneys, who hoped to avoid another trial. Bradshaw was found guilty of first-degree murder in December and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Irv Hoffman of Palm Harbor, Rachel's father, said he opposed the deal. "I would have preferred that Mr. Green had faced a jury," Hoffman said Thursday. "I had trust in the jury system and would have been more accepting of a jury's verdict for his crime regardless of the outcome." The victim's mother, Margie Weiss of Safety Harbor, dreaded sitting through another emotionally difficult trial. "What I heard and what I saw at the first trial was excruciating," she said Thursday. "Andrea Green's life sentence is a relief to me." Evidence in Bradshaw's trial included convenience store videotape of Bradshaw buying bleach to clean the blood from Rachel Hoffman's car and Green laughing as he counted wads of marked cash. Witnesses said the men partied in Orlando and went on a spending spree with the money.
Block called Green "a very dangerous man." "Even though both of Rachel's parents had different expectations about the outcome of this case, the fact is, Green will spend the rest of his life in prison," said Block. "It is a great relief to them that he'll never harm another person's child." According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Green smiled as he told the judge, "The plea best suits me - a plea of life in prison as opposed to getting the needle." State Attorney Willie Meggs told the newspaper: "They're no winners. What we are trying to seek is justice. It's hard to say if anybody likes this or dislikes it. If we had gotten a sentence of death, it's not like Rachel's going to come back." Block said the family will now proceed with the civil action he has filed against the city of Tallahassee. "Rachel's parents look forward to the next phase of justice for Rachel and holding the Tallahassee Police Department accountable for its cavalier mishandling of their daughter's life."

Reporter Donna Koehn can be reached at (813) 259-8264.

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