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Woman sentenced in 2013 hit-and-run death of teenage girl

Tiffany Higginbotham gets 17 years in prison after pleading guilty in case

St. Johns County charged Tiffany Higginbotham with leaving the scene of an accident that caused the death of Haley Smith.
St. Johns County charged Tiffany Higginbotham with leaving the scene of an accident that caused the death of Haley Smith.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A woman charged in the 2013 hit-and-run death of 15-year-old Haley Smith pleaded guilty in the case Friday in St. Johns County Court.

Tiffany Higginbotham was sentenced to 17 years in prison, followed by two years of house arrest and 11 years of probation. 

Higginbotham was arrested earlier this year in prison, where she was serving a sentence in another hit-and-run case. 

RELATED: Woman already doing time charged in 2013 death of teenage girl

Haley was struck by a car Nov. 17, 2013, on Kenton Morrison Road, just south of State Road 16. She was rushed to UF Health Jacksonville, where she died. It was three weeks before Haley would have turned 16.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said tips came in after a follow-up story on Haley's death in the St. Augustine Record. St. Johns County Chief of Investigations Brian Lee said Higginbotham was driving her boyfriend's Chevrolet S-10 pickup, and paint samples from that vehicle matched evidence at the scene.