A 92-year-old Villager in prison for a hit-and-run crash that injured two bicyclists is making a plea for clemency.
Marilyn Hamilton is serving a five-year prison sentence at the Lowell Correctional Center in Marion County. Her release date is now set for Aug. 20, 2027, as she continues to knock time off her sentence for good behavior.
Hamilton, who was unsuccessful last year when she filed a filed a motion seeking an early release from prison, is now attempting the clemency route.
Clemency is the constitutionally authorized process that provides the means through which convicted felons may be considered for relief from punishment and seek restoration of their civil rights. The clemency function is an act of mercy that absolves an individual from all, or any part, of the punishment that the law imposes.
The governor and members of the cabinet sit as the Board of Executive Clemency and establish the Rules of Executive Clemency by mutual consent. The powers to grant clemency are vested in the governor with the agreement of two cabinet members who are also statewide elected officials.
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.
Laube, a fitness enthusiast who taught yoga, bore the brunt of the impact from the Mercedes. She suffered 17 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a paralyzed vocal chord, broken arm, broken wrist, torn finger tendons and ligaments and brain injuries.
While delivering Hamilton’s five-year prison sentence in 2022 in Sumter County Court, Judge Don Briggs emphasized that Hamilton’s biggest legal problem wasn’t the crash itself, but the fact she left the scene.