Crime & Courts
Hoffman wrongful-death suit against Tallahassee police begins
Jury selection began Wednesday in the civil trial involving the parents of Rachel Hoffman, the Pinellas County woman who was killed in 2008 while acting as a drug informant for Tallahassee police. Hoffman's parents, Margie Weiss and Irv Hoffman, claimed Tallahassee police were negligent in their daughter's death and filed a wrongful-death suit against the city. The city has said Rachel Hoffman was negligent. More than 50 potential jurors were brought in Wednesday and were questioned by attorneys about pretrial publicity of the case.Six jurors and three alternates are needed. Circuit Judge James O. Shelfer expects the trial will take about four weeks. In 2008, Rachel Hoffman was a small-time marijuana dealer who was trying to clear her record by agreeing to help police in a string. However, her wire went dead and officers charged with keeping tabs on her lost her as she drove to meet two suspects with $13,000 in marked bills to buy a gun and drugs. Hoffman, 23, was shot to death on a dead-end street in north Leon County, and her body dumped in Taylor County. Andrea Green and Deneilo Bradshaw are serving life sentences for her murder. Irv Hoffman said in 2010 he blames all members of the Tallahassee Police Department. "I know those feelings are dark and unhealthy, but I am bitter and I am angry at the men who killed my daughter and dumped her body in a ditch," he said. "And I am angry at the police department that put this entire nightmare of a fiasco in motion."