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Statement of facts

Statement of facts in the Porter case, read aloud Tuesday by prosecutor Kim Seace:

By Times Staff Writer
Published August 31, 2005


"The state would have proved during trial that on March 31, 2004, at 7:11 p.m., Jennifer Porter was driving northbound in a 2000 silver/gray Toyota Echo on 22nd Street.

As she approached the 142nd Avenue pedestrian crosswalk, she was going 38 mph, according to Cpl. Mike Cherup of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, who did the reconstruction of the crash, and also independent reconstructionist Dr. (James) Ipser.

Four children were crossing the street at the southern edge of the crosswalk. Bryant Wilkins, age 13. Aquina Wilkins, age 8. Durontae Caldwell, age 3. LaJuan Davis, age 2.

Miss Porter struck all four children. Bryant and Aquina were hit by Porter's vehicle, catapulted from the front bumper to Porter's hood and windshield. Then they were both vaulted from the hood into the roadway.

Bryant suffered a fractured cervical spine and spinal cord contusion due to blunt impact to the head. Aquina broke her left femur and fractured her skull.

LaJuan was thrown clear and suffered minor abrasions.

Durontae was hit by the front bumper and sucked under the vehicle. He was lodged under the vehicle and dragged approximately 150 feet as Miss Porter continued to drive north.

Durontae suffered a craniocervical dislocation with cervical spinal cord contusion due to blunt impact.

Miss Porter continued to drive away from the scene without rendering aid to any of the children or providing information to law enforcement authorities or bystanders who had begun to gather. Miss Porter made numerous cell phone calls to her family describing what had just occurred.

She drove to her dance studio in Pasco County and parked her heavily damaged Echo in the alleyway behind the studio. Porter family members responded to the scene of the crash and confirmed that two children were dead. Then they responded to the dance studio, according to their sworn statements.

The mother of Miss Porter then drove the damaged Toyota Echo to the Porter family home and they concealed it inside the family garage, which was actually converted and used as a dance studio by the Porter family.

The next day Miss Porter returned to her job as a dance teacher at Muller Elementary and taught a full day of classes. That evening she taught at her dance studio. At no time during that day did she attempt to contact law enforcement authorities.

Cpl. Mike Cherup, Dr. Ipser and Dr. (Daniel) Spitz of the Hillsborough County medical examiner all independently concluded at the end of their independent investigations that Miss Porter's vehicle was the only vehicle that struck, killed and injured these children."

[Last modified August 31, 2005, 01:20:10]


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