Former model Valentina Hubsch came to court thinking she had a plea deal allowing her to avoid jail time for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of a 21-year-old University of Miami student.
But after hearing tearful statements Thursday from the family of the victim, Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat rejected the plea offered by the state. Hubsch and her attorney were taken by surprise. “I feel like we were ambushed,” said defense attorney Albert Levin. “The facts remain the facts, and my client’s role in this tragedy will not change. The victim’s role in the accident was not in question. On Nov. 13, 2010, Paul Jones was running through traffic on Red Road near 45th Street. Friends say he had taken LSD.
Police received multiple 911 calls of a disoriented man “in the middle of the road trying to get people to run him over,” according to a report from the state prosecutor. Hubsch was driving north on Red Road in her silver Sonata just after dark. She hit something, “so sudden and so frightening that I don’t know exactly what happened,” she told police later. She briefly pulled over, but stayed in her car, then continued to her home. She didn’t call 911.
The following day, she contacted Coral Gables Police through her lawyer to turn herself in. Both went to the station, but no investigator was present at the time. Hubsch returned the following day to give her statement. She was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 21 months in jail. She was not taken into custody.
Jones died from his injuries 10 days later