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The Villages
Monday, January 30, 2023

3. 91-year-old Villager sentenced to prison for hitting bicyclists with her Mercedes

Marilyn Hamilton
Marilyn Hamilton

A 91-year-old Villager was sentenced to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to hitting two bicyclists with her Mercedes and fleeing the scene.

It was the third biggest story of 2022 in The Villages.

Marilyn Hamilton, of the Village of Gilchrist, was taken into custody shortly after her sentence was handed down by Judge Don Briggs in Sumter County Court. Hamilton was behind the wheel of a white Mercedes on Oct. 30, 2020, when she struck Village of Dunedin residents Jessica Laube and Robert Hunter while they were pedaling on Morse Boulevard near Bonita Boulevard.

Witnesses told the Florida Highway Patrol that Hamilton got out of her vehicle, saw the husband and wife crumpled in the road, got back into her car and drove away. The vehicle was later recovered at the Mercedes dealership in Gainesville, where it was being repaired.

While delivering the sentence, Judge Briggs emphasized that Hamilton’s biggest legal problem wasn’t the crash itself, but the fact she left the scene.

“The impact of what you did is felt by (the victims), but what happened afterward is what impacts you,” he said. “If you had stayed, things would have been much different for you. No sentence I could impose would restore Mr. Hunter and Ms. Laube to their prior condition. This is punitive.”

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