I don't know who's worse, the police for putting her in that situation or the criminals for killing her. I can't believe she was so stupid to try snitching like that.
COPYRIGHT 2009 The Tampa Tribune
Text: Sunday December 13, 2009
Section LOCAL NEWS
Money talks in Hoffman slaying
State rests its case against a suspect in informant's shooting.
By DONNA KOEHN
TALLAHASSEE - Deneilo Bradshaw flashed a thick wad of $100 bills, ate pizza, had sex with a girlfriend in Orlando and sang a happy song on the night he participated in the slaying of Rachel Hoffman, according to testimony in a Leon County courthouse last week.
A convenience store videotape shows him buying a bottle of bleach that a witness said Bradshaw used to clean the Volvo belonging to Hoffman, 23, a confidential police informant who grew up in Pinellas County. She was shot five times as she sat in her car during a botched drug sting near Tallahassee on May 7, 2008. Investigators found bleach and her blood in the car.
Bradshaw later led authorities to a remote culvert in nearby Taylor County where Hoffman's body, covered by her yellow sleeping bag and a Grateful Dead T-shirt, had been tossed from the road above.
Bradshaw, 24, and his stepbrother-in-law, Andrea Green, 27, are charged with first-degree murder in Hoffman's death. The young woman, in a drug court diversion program, was hoping to avoid jail for felony possession of marijuana, and volunteered to help police to clear her record.
Tallahassee police gave her $13,000 in marked bills to buy cocaine, 1,500 Ecstasy pills and a stolen handgun from the two men.
She was shot with an inexpensive, pearl-handled gun on a dead-end road in northern Leon County after police lost sight of her and her wire went dead. The case made national headlines and led to the passing of "Rachel's Law," a state law that offers increased protection for police informants.
Bradshaw's trial began Monday; Green's is scheduled for October.
State attorneys presented a concise case tracing the actions of Bradshaw and Green before and after the shooting.
In a police voice recording of Hoffman and Bradshaw on May 5, 2008, at the detailing shop where Bradshaw and Green worked, Hoffman asks for "beans" (Ecstasy), "lady" (cocaine) and "fire" (a gun).
"How much you willing to spend on the pistol?" Bradshaw asks.
"My dad is giving me money to buy one," she replies. "I'm a little Jewish girl. I want to be safe. I want a pretty one."
A stolen gun; an abandoned car
Bradshaw tells her he'll see what he can do. The gun used in the shooting was reported stolen that day from a customer's car. A co-worker testified that Bradshaw, usually acting "uplifted," appeared nervous and checked his car when police arrived to investigate the theft.
Ryan Pender, the only Tallahassee police officer fired over the botched sting, testified that Green kept calling Hoffman the day of the drug deal to change the location. In the last recorded contact from Hoffman, she told Pender she didn't know where she was as, alone in her car, she tried to follow Bradshaw and Green.
By the time officers found the crime scene, Hoffman's Volvo and Green's BMW were gone. Only one of her flip-flops, live rounds and spent shell casings remained in the road.
A short time later, witness David Andrews, on his way to his hunting camp, came upon the Volvo and the BMW, which was stuck in the sand by the side of a rural road. He said Green appeared agitated and tried to get him to help, but Andrews refused. Authorities later found the police listening device used by Hoffman tossed by the side of the road near the abandoned BMW.
Green and Bradshaw showed up that evening in Hoffman's Volvo in a Perry neighborhood filled with friends and relatives; Green said he would pay several hundred dollars to anyone who would drive the pair to Orlando. Bradshaw gave a $50 bill to a teenager as a gift; it later was found to be one of the marked bills from the drug sting.
Friends Dominique Bryant and Darrius Beasley agreed to drive them to Orlando, and the four men headed to a convenience store for oil, gas, sodas and snacks. It was there that Bradshaw purchased the bleach and an orange soda, both later found to be paid for with marked bills. Green appears to be laughing on the store videotape and sorting through a large wad of money at the front counter.
Clerk Windellen Blanton testified that she talked to Green about it.
"I was overwhelmed by how much money he had," she testified Tuesday. "It was a wad of money, and he started swatting it out on the counter. I was, like, 'My goodness!' It wasn't ones, I'll tell you that."
Beasley testified one of the men - he couldn't tell which one in the dark - splashed the bleach on the Volvo and wiped it with rags or pieces of clothing.
Beasley said Bradshaw was acting "funny-wise. Like itchy, like you could tell they did something."
Green then told Beasley and Bryant to follow them in Hoffman's car through back roads to United Welding, where Courtney Campbell, Green's cousin, worked. Green asked his cousin to destroy the Volvo, which they parked in the back of the business, Campbell said.
Campbell testified that Bradshaw emerged from the Volvo singing.
"He singing a song, saying he woke up this morning feeling like money."
Campbell told the jury he was suspicious, and decided not to touch the Volvo. He took the keys and Green's cell phone and told Green he would destroy them. Instead, he wrapped the keys in plastic wrap and threw them in some bushes.
"I was scared," he said.
The four men, now in Bryant's car, headed to Orlando to stay with Bradshaw's girlfriend. Bryant said he could hear Bradshaw and Green talking quietly in the back seat about money.
"They called it a 'lick.' Like running across money you didn't have before," Bryant testified. "Said something about pills. Mostly Green talking. Bradshaw was just conversating back."
The four ended up at Rakecia Peterson's apartment in Orlando. She testified she met Bradshaw once a couple of months before and talked to him often on the phone. She didn't know they were coming that night until called by a friend of Green's; she was in bed, as it was about 2 or 3 a.m.
"I thought it was a surprise. I was excited. I hadn't seen him in a while," Peterson said. "They appeared to be acting normal. We gave our hugs."
She said they bought some marijuana, then stopped for pizza and sodas at a convenience store. She said she had sex with Bradshaw at her place; he and Green stayed the night. Bryant and Beasley returned to Perry.
Peterson said she noticed bleach stains on Bradshaw's shirt.
The next morning, Peterson went to her job at Macy's in Orlando's Millenia Mall. Green and Bradshaw arrived there about noon and bought shoes and clothes. They then went to the Magic Outlet Mall, where both men bought jewelry. One of Bradshaw's pieces was a large gold necklace depicting a pair of praying hands and a cross.
Again, the purchases were discovered to have been made with marked bills.
An agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that day found Hoffman's driver's license, her Florida State University ID card and her debit card in the pocket of Green's jeans in Peterson's bedroom. One of his shoes tested positive for Hoffman's blood.
The gun was found discarded outside in the apartment complex.
FDLE agents arrested Bradshaw and Green in the parking lot of the Macy's store when the men returned.
Leading agents to the body
Agent Cesar Saldanha rode back to North Florida with Bradshaw, following Green and another FDLE agent in a separate car.
Saldanha testified that just as dawn broke May 9, the two cars arrived at an intersection on County Road 257 in Taylor County. Even though the blinker hadn't been turned on by the driver of the car in front, Bradshaw told Saldanha which direction to go to find Hoffman's body. He then pointed out a small reflector by the side of the road. The body was found down below, not visible from the road.
The agent was the final witness before the state rested its case Thursday. Defense witnesses will be heard Monday. Attorneys for Bradshaw offered few objections and only limited cross-examination of the state's witnesses, although some questions suggested they will attempt to show Bradshaw was influenced by or afraid of Green.
Karey Freeman, Bradshaw's stepfather, attended court every day, and said he and Bradshaw's mother had wanted to keep him away from Green.
Hoffman's parents, Irv Hoffman of Palm Harbor and Margie Weiss of Safety Harbor, also attended every day, although Hoffman left the room during graphic testimony by the medical examiner and during crime scene investigators' statements and prosecutors' photos of his daughter's body. Both said they hope the trial is over by Thursday, their daughter's birthday, because they want to visit the cemetery that day.
"I am going to release butterflies," Weiss said.
Reporter Donna Koehn can be reached at (813) 259-8264.
She had previously been busted with an oz of bud that she got from them.... Is what I remember reading...
If these guys moved any kind of weight (not to mention coke and rolls), why'd they have to buy weed for personal use after they killed the girl? For that matter, why'd they have to steal a gun? Guns are cool enough just to have; but if you're in a cash business, heat is de rigueur.
So then I'll ask again: how did Bradshaw and Green get put on the map? What were they moving?
YO, i'm really sorry if you're illiterate.
HOW did these guys get put on the map? Maybe the guy above me as the right idea... BUT THATS WHAT THIS WHOLE ARTICLE IS ABOUT. THEY GOT SNITCHED OUT BY THE DEAD GIRL. THATS how they got put on the map
Despite the Tallahassee Police Department’s sensational claims that Rachel was a major marijuana trafficker, the TPD never approached the 23-year-old about taking down her pot supplier. Instead, cops initially requested Rachel narc on her friends, many of whom she occasionally shared weed with. When Rachel refused, police hatched the idea of going after much bigger fish, namely Bradshaw and Green.