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Boyfriend of driver in Fort Myers hit-and-run speaks out


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Boyfriend of driver in Fort Myers hit-and-run speaks out

By Lisa Greenberg. CREATED Aug 10, 2014

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Fort Myers Police Department arrested 19 year old Jacqueline Megan Hogan in connection to the hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of a Fort Myers man. Her boyfriend spoke to Four in Your Corner to clear her name. 

Jacqueline Hogan was arrested early Sunday morning at her home in Rainbow Mobile Home Park on Bogart Drive.

Thomas De-Soto was struck and killed near the intersection of Fowler Street and Simpson Street late Friday night. He was 68 years old.

Hogan's boyfriend, Bradley Stidham, insisted his girlfriend is a good person who made a life-changing mistake. He said she doesn't deserve to be behind bars.

"She just got scared. She didn't know what to do. She's never been in any trouble in her life," Stidham said.

Hogan allegedly hit De-Soto with her car, then fled the scene, where De-Soto died. Even though she's been charged with this devastating crime, Stidham said Hogan is not a bad person.

"All night after it happened, she couldn't even sleep," He said. "She was crying. She was more worried about the dude than herself."

Once Hogan finally fell asleep, Stidham went online. That's when he found out De-Soto had passed away.

"So I woke her up and told her, and she just started breaking down in tears," Stidham said.

The next day, police spent seven hours at their home, working to get a search warrant after receiving a tip.

Four in Your Corner's cameras were the only ones rolling as officers combed the scene searching for clues, including the car involved in the crash. That's when Hogan fully confessed.

"If I could, I would take the charge for her right now," Stidham told Fox 4. "If I could go turn myself in and let her out, and clear all the charges and put them on me, I would." 

Stidham knows what his girlfriend did was wrong, but said she's just a young girl who made a mistake.

"She's a really good person," he said.

He told Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg he's afraid of what's going to happen next.

"That's the love of my life. I can't lose her," Stidham said.

Stidham is pleading for eople to see Jackie Hogan the way he does.

"If anybody sees this, don't judge her because she's not what it seems like everybody is making her seem like."

Stidham said he and Hogan are thinking of the De-Soto family. 

Fox 4 reached out to them as well, but no one was home at the time. 

Hogan is charged with hit-and-run involving death, and is being held on a $35,000 bond. Her next court date is scheduled for September 8th. Four in Your Corner will keep you posted on the details of this case as they become available.