Judge denies Race's request to be freed

- Jennifer Race in tears and handcuffs, being escorted to jail from a courtroom, has become a familiar scene.

Her predicaments are because she cannot seem to show up on time for appearances.

Race's excuses for being tardy on multiple occasions included traffic delays, her previous attorney, and even her kids. After hearing all the excuses, Judge Barber revoked her bond last  month and kept her in jail. 

Race is accused of a hit-and-run crash that killed 83-year-old Lawrence Lockhart. Police say surveillance video shows Race leaving the scene and flagging down a driver for a ride. Several weeks ago, before being thrown in jail, Race was about to sign off on a plea deal, but changed her mind and fired her attorney at the last minute.

Race was back in court Thursday afternoon, asking the judge to reconsider. This time, she has a new attorney, Kim Seace, and a new strategy.

"Mr. Lockhart was the at-fault vehicle. He caused his own injuries, which resulted in his own death," said Seace.

Assistant State Prosecutor Steve Capriati say there is only one person to blame - Race - pointing to her late appearances as the only matter under current consideration.

"When she's told by the judge to be here at 9 o'clock, you have to be here at 9 o'clock regardless of how many times she has to come to court," Capriati fired back.

Overall, Judge Barber did not seem happy.

"You have a right to find an attorney, but you don't have a right to manipulate the legal system," he explained.

After hearing arguments, the judge wasn't swayed. He denied her motion to reconsider and sent her back to jail.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Judge denies Race's request to be freed
  • Lakeland veterinarian, husband face animal cruelty charges
  • Pedestrian hit and killed by Lakeland city employee
  • Lockheed Martin celebrates 20 years in Pinellas
  • Water Street project plan visuals released
  • Woman died folllowing early morning U.S. 19 crash
  • Gator greets snorklers in Three Sisters Springs
  • Ybor City security guard skips court, prompting new warrant
  • Old Tampa Tribune site becoming luxury apartments
  • Hooter's employee helps Hillsborough deputies take down suspect