Jury selection starts in Hoffman civil suit

The city is being sued for wrongful death of their daughter Rachel Hoffman four years ago. The family will be represented by Lance Block. Fifty-four potential jurors will be cut to six by Friday. The lawsuit is set to begin Monday.

In 2008, Hoffman was arrested for drug possession after police found 25 items in her apartment including cannabis, pills and bongs. She was given two options, face jail time or go undercover as a drug informant.

Recently out of school and afraid to disappoint her family, she opted to go undercover. Three weeks later, she met up with Deneilo Bradshaw, 23, and Andrea Green, 24, to buy 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine and a hand gun.         

That day she became an informant and murder victim. Her body was recovered 36 hours later from a ditch in Taylor County. Hoffman was murdered by the gun she planned to buy from Bradshaw and Green. Both men received life sentences.

The 23-year-old left behind precious memories of her bubbly personality and free spirit but also a trail of a criminal past. She was arrested for marijuana possession twice in 2003 and 2007. Her arrests also included driving without a license and giving a false name to police.

Despite her troubled past, her parents want the world to remember their only daughter as a nurturing and loving person. In 2008, they proposed a bill to the state senate titled ‘Rachel's Law' to protect police informants. It was signed by Gov. Charlie Crist signed the following year. Under the law, police departments are obligated to train informants before their assignments, to explain their participation may not lower their sentence and allow informants a lawyer if they choose.