TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's not every day a criminal defendant wants to deal directly with the judge and cut his own deal, but Rico Taylor thought he'd give it a try.
Attorney Anthony Rickman says its never a good idea.
"You can't enter a plea negotiation with the court," Rickman explained.
In a two-page, handwritten letter to the judge, Taylor said he wants to skip jail and do eight to fifteen years probation.
Two of those years, his letter says, would include some restrictions like a GPS ankle monitor, a curfew and community control.
"If you're not guilty, why are you accepting a sentence?" Rickman asked, adding he thinks the letter will backfire.
He says Taylor just handed the prosecution another piece of evidence against him.
"Essentially this statement shows a consciousness of guilt; him knowing he's guilty. 'I know I'm guilty so I'm going to ask you to do something for me,'" said Rickman.
Taylor is accused of a hit-and-run crash in January that killed 23-year-old Tyronda Sampson and her friend. Sampson's 3-year-old, who was properly restrained in a child seat, survived the crash but is now motherless.
Tyronda's friend, Craig McDaniels heard about the crash and rushed to the scene.
"To see this here is just devastating to me. Just devastating," said McDaniels.
Rickman says there's a good chance Taylor's attorney had no idea he was writing a letter to the judge, otherwise he would have tried to stop it. But it's too late now. The letter is in the hands of a judge and the prosecution - who Rickman says will use it against him.
Taylor's trial is set for mid July.