[UPDATE] 3 Years Later: Family and Friends Remember Rachel Hoffman

[UPDATE] 5-10 2:40pm -

Press Release


The 4th Annual Purple Hatters Ball this weekend, May 13-15, will celebrate the life of the late Rachel Morningstar Hoffman with 18 bands and three days of music and fun at the beautiful and picturesque Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Fla.

The lineup for this year’s celebration includes Emancipator, DubConscious, Zoogma, Big Gigantic, The Malah, Flow Tribe, Papadosio, Uprise, Greenhouse Lounge, Stillwood, Monozygotik, Flight Risk, Burnin Smyrnans, The Savi Fernandez Band, Russell Batiste Band, Trial By Stone, Catfish Alliance, Chroma, Pepper Drive and P.Y.M.P. Performances will take place on two different stages throughout the weekend. Gates open at noon Friday, May 13, music starts at 5 p.m.; Saturday, May 14, gates open at 10 a.m. and music begins at noon. Sunday, May 15, gates open at 10 a.m. and music begins at noon. Please join friends and family as they celebrate the life of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman.

Advance tickets are $45 per person and include three days of music, primitive camping and all taxes and fees. Tickets are $60 at the gate, taxes and fees included. $30 day tickets are available for Sunday only and are only available at the gate.

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is once again generously offering a discounted cabin and golf cart rental special to Purple Hatter guests. A cabin for Friday and Saturday nights plus a gold cart for up to 4 people is available for $400 plus taxes. Cabins are limited, so jump on this deal quickly. Call 386-364-1683 or email spirit@musicliveshere.com to reserve yours.

The SOSMP Music Hall will be open to the general public and to Purple Hatter guests this weekend also with Mike Mullis and his variety show Friday night where you may enjoy games, fun, music and dance the night away and the second of four Texaco Country Showdown North Florida Competitions Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m.

Doors to the Music Hall open at 5 p.m. with the show beginning Friday night at 8 p.m. and Saturday night at 7 p.m.

As always, the SOS Café and Restaurant will have available at regular prices delicious food and beverages.

Admission Friday night this week is $5 per person with the $5 applied to your evening’s tab at the SOS Café and Restaurant.

For more information, email us at spirit@musicliveshere.com or call us at 386-364-1683 to inquire about this event, accommodations and the many other events coming up this year such as Bear Creek, Blackwater Music Festival, Suwannee River Jubilee and others! Check out our website at www.musicliveshere.com.


Updated by Lanetra Bennett - May 6, 2011 6:00pm

May 7th will mark three years since a Tallahassee Police informant was killed during a botched drug sting.

Friday, May 6th, her family and loved ones held a vigil in honor of Rachel Hoffman.

Margie Weiss tenderly passes out kisses and flowers to her daughter's friends.

Rachel Hoffman was murdered three years ago.

Weiss, Hoffman's mother, said, "My daughter was my only child. There's no grandchildren. I envy the other parents. There's very few that I've met that don't have a grandchild, don't have another child."

Hoffman was killed in May of 2008 during an undercover drug sting while she was working as a confidential informant for Tallahassee Police.

Hoffman's friend Michelle McGrath said, "It was the worst news I've every heard in my entire life. I can't believe that it's been three years. It was just something that you hear on the news and you never think it'd ever happen to anybody that you love, especially somebody like Rachel, who deserves it less than anybody."

850 people attended Hoffman's funeral.

A dozen loved ones and family supporters joined Weiss for a memorial in front of Tallahassee City Hall Friday.

Weiss says her daughter's friends, who call her "Mama Margie", help her survive.

Hoffman's friend Dave McSweeney said, "A lot of light has come out from this. It was really hard. It still is really hard. Not a day goes by. She's definitely still with us every day."

During the vigil, the group held hands, and paused for a moment of silence. They say they'll forever hold on to Hoffman's memory.

Andre Green and Deneilo Bradshaw are serving life sentences for Hoffman's death.

Her family's civil case against the City of Tallahassee is scheduled for trial in mid-September.

The Hoffman family attorney says there is no chance of a settlement at this time.

The City Attorney says the City of Tallahassee has an obligation to the Tallahassee Police Department, tax payers, and Hoffman's family.

He says he looks forward to having a fair trial.


Tallahassee, Florida - May 6, 2011 - 11am

On the eve of the third anniversary of Rachel Hoffman's murder, her mother, Margie Weiss, along with Rachel's friends will hold a memorial vigil to commemorate Rachel's life and honor her memory.

Rachel Hoffman was a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate, murdered on May 7, 2008 during a botched Tallahassee Police Department drug operation in which she was being compelled to be a confidential informant to TPD. Her death led to widespread criticism including a scathing Grand Jury review of TPD mistakes and to legislation known as "Rachel's Law," which established uniform, written guidelines for all Florida law enforcement agencies that confidential informants must understand the risks and responsibilities involved in becoming an informant.

Margie Weiss will speak about spending a 3rd Mother's Day without her only child.

The Hoffmans filed suit against the city after their daughter Rachel was shot and killed in a botched drug deal in May 2008. They claim Rachel should never have been used as an informant and that Tallahassee Police officers were negligent in their planning, handling and supervision of that deal.

The two men who killed Rachel Hoffman, Andrea Green and Deneilo Bradshaw, are already serving life sentences for her kidnapping and murder.

Attorneys for both the Hoffman family and the City of Tallahassee confirm the trial date for that wrongful death suit has been delayed from March 2011 until September 2011.

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  • by Jim on May 12, 2011 at 06:41 AM
    TPD failed to follow their own instructions and CAUSED a murder and then officers and the CHIEF blamed the victim, and then the chief later admitted that it was TPD that failed to follow their own instructions. The Grand Jury agreed. TPD and the City will pay BIG TIME for their deadly negligence and cover-up. Anyone here trying to sell us some other story is affiliated with TPD and/or City of Tallahassee.
  • by yankee on May 11, 2011 at 03:41 PM
    Ha! Yep, karma is a B! Are we talking about the same city whose Mayor is a self-admitted scam artist thief? When the City of Tallahassee can't get insurance because of all the lawsuits that keep coming their way due to corruption then pull out your checkbooks and start looking for a second and third job. Your taxes are going to skyrocket and then good luck at getting people to move here. For example $12,000,000/Tallahassee citizens = A big bag of money from each of you. Yep, karma is a B. But go ahead, keep electing these morons into office.
  • by PoFolksRoam on May 11, 2011 at 06:39 AM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by big shady on May 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM in reply to PoFolksRoam
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM in reply to PoFolksRoam
      That's the best you can do, call the parents "Hippie rejects" because TPD caused their daughter to be murdered and now must pay MILLIONS? But you know what, TPD is still GUILTY!
  • by AShiningExample Location: Tallahassee on May 11, 2011 at 06:17 AM
    The Hoffmans could use their tragic loss to prevent the same fate that Rachel suffered from happening to others. But, by downplaying Rachels irresponsible behaviour and illegal actions they are basically condoning the lifestyle she chose to live. A wasted life and a lost example of what not to do....
    • reply
      by yankee on May 11, 2011 at 06:45 PM in reply to AShiningExample
      I agree. What not to do.....trust local LE.
  • by Mr.E. Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 09:35 PM
    What TPD did in this case was the equivalent to throwing a kitten into a pen with two Pit-bulls. The Idea that she deserved what happened is absurd. Obviously there were no officers that were brave enough to go undercover and make the bust the hard way. Who was in charge? Did anyone stand up and say this is a bad Idea? There are a lot of people that use Cannabis, Its time to tax them and crush the cartels and those that profit from violence. Make Domestic Cannabis legal and focus our resources on the Drugs that are actually addictive.
    • reply
      by nOLE on May 11, 2011 at 04:45 AM in reply to Mr.E.
      mr. e i feel you have missed the point. she WAS a DRUG DEALER she wasn't just a user. she was always breaking the law. and she was on probation at the time of this arrest for her drug dealing and use. and people are just tired of her parents and her drugie friends worshiping her like she was a goddeness. I'd take a look at what you said, she wasn't not a helpless kitten. she made her life a life of drugs not TPD. IF SHE had done ONLY what she was told to do and not what SHE WANTED TO DO, She would have been a live to go to court and tell how she help them get the other dealers. she made her bed and we are tired of the money, ours and your tax money going to them for thier daughters addictive life courses.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM in reply to nOLE
        Thankfully, the grand jury and the City (eventually) refused to buy your lies to try to protect TPD from the consequences of failing to follow their own instructions and CAUSING a murder.
    • reply
      by RetiredMarine on May 11, 2011 at 06:20 AM in reply to Mr.E.
      At what age do we wean our children and allow them to become responsible for their own actions? Are you still clinging to dads trouser legs, or hiding behind your moms skirt? Judging from your post your not too far from it...
  • by fed up on May 10, 2011 at 08:35 PM
    End the drug war!! That is all. We have no obligation to follow immoral laws.
  • by TallyTrashTalks2 Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 08:24 PM
    I wouldn’t accept a FREE ticket to this load of crap event! Rachel Hoffman is dead because she was a dumb girl who chose to step in over her head with drugs, disobey police orders and paid the price for it trying to make a deal for a lesser sentence for her OWN drug dealing crime!! Rachel didn’t have much respect for her mother to initiate the cause of all this pain she feels now, but a memorial event to honor a drug user is sooo tacky…to say the least!! If Mrs. Weiss is awarded one single dime in a law-suit and those $$’s are not specifically used for drug prevention programs in youth, or a new program initiated...it’s all about greed, not the loss of a life.
  • by TIR on May 10, 2011 at 07:55 PM
    Thug, glad she is dead.
  • by big shady Location: East 90 on May 10, 2011 at 07:36 PM
    Wow this update has turned into nothing more than a way for her family to make money off their dead daughter!
  • by Flatuentious on May 10, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    Something smells about this story, TPD couldn't just track these thugs and shoot them?
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