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Strickland enters plea, sentenced 25 years in prison for deadly hit and run

A jury was selected Monday, March 21, and testimony in Jarvis Strickland’s trial was scheduled...
A jury was selected Monday, March 21, and testimony in Jarvis Strickland’s trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but Strickland decided to enter a plea before the jury entered the courtroom.(WCTV)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:48 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 1:58 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The man accused of a deadly hit and run that claimed the life of avid runner and Wakulla High track coach Paul Hoover has entered a last-minute plea.

A jury was selected Monday and testimony in Jarvis Strickland’s trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but Strickland decided to enter a plea before the jury entered the courtroom.

Court records show Strickland was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaving the scene on Springhill Road in May 2017 and then setting his car on fire to try to hide evidence of the crash.

“On behalf of our family, friends and the Tallahassee and Wakulla community, we are grateful to have a resolution,” Hoover’s wife Myrna Hoover said afterward. “We will always be honored to have had Paul as our husband, father and friend.”

Strickland entered a last-minute plea once before under similar circumstances. He entered a plea back in August 2021 just as his trial was scheduled to start, but he later withdrew the plea.

“I think it took far longer than it should have, but I think we got a good resolution for the Hoover family and I’m grateful they were patient,” prosecutor James Beville said.

Strickland previously petitioned the court for a compassionate release as he battles cancer, but was taken into custody after Tuesday’s plea to begin serving his 25-year sentence.

The judge also revoked Strickland’s driver’s license for the rest of his life.

Strickland’s attorney had no comment on the plea or the sentence.

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