Judge weighs pleas for fate of hit-and-run killer - FOX 13 News

Judge weighs pleas for fate of hit-and-run killer

Posted: Updated:
  • Judge weighs pleas for fate of hit-and-run killerMore>>

  • Woman killed by hit and run driver

    Woman killed by hit and run driver

    A woman was killed by a hit and run driver early Saturday while riding her bike near the University of South Florida.
    A woman was killed by a hit and run driver early Saturday while riding her bike near the University of South Florida.
  • Arrest made in USF bicyclist's death

    Arrest made in USF bicyclist's death

    Investigators have arrested a man they say was responsible for the hit and run death of a University of South Florida student riding her bike near the school last month.
    Investigators have arrested a man they say was responsible for the hit and run death of a University of South Florida student riding her bike near the school last month.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Shawn Lee Burton didn't fight the charge. He gave up his right to a jury trial and chose to leave his fate in the hands of a judge.

Burton, 30, faced sentencing for the hit-and-run death of 30-year-old USF medical researcher Kayoko Ishizuka. In September of 2010, Kayoko was riding her bike near University Square Drive and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard when she was struck and killed.

Burton, prosecutors say, left the scene and never called 911.

During the hearing, Burton's longtime girlfriend, Chelsey Nakos, pleaded with the judge. She said the couple's 5-year-old son misses his father, every minute of every day.

"He had a project in school and they had a question that asked if he had one wish, what would you wish for, and he said for my dad to come home," said Nakos.

His girlfriend's mother, Elaine Nakos, also asked the judge for leniency, but during cross examination admitted Burton appeared drunk the night of the crash, then made up a story to explain the extensive car damage.

"My daughter had asked him what happened to the car and he said he hit a deer and that he had called the police," said Nakos.

Kayoko's family lives in Japan and weren't able to attend the sentencing. But two of her USF colleagues did, including instructor Guy Hagen.

In a surprising move, he asked the judge to spare Burton, saying that's what Kayoko would have wanted.

"I think Kay would want you to give him that chance," said Hagen.

And finally, Burton himself expressed remorse and asked the judge for a second chance.

"I know anything I say or do will never be enough, but I promise I'm going to try and make things right," Burton pledged.

In the end, Judge Scott Stephens sentenced Burton to seven years in prison. With the time he's already served, he will be free in 2017.

Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices