Hetherington’s girlfriend will not face charges, former prosecutor says
WINK News was first to get the court documents that show the suspect in a crash that killed 8-year-old Layla Aiken knew he was the suspect within hours. It took investigators month to make their case for an arrest.
We’re told that Cape Coral police were staking out Logan Hetherington in undercover vehicles surrounding his work-place last week. When they caught up with him around the corner from his job, he was actually in a car driven by his girlfriend.
It raises the question: is she going to be charged with any crime?
Hetherington left his girlfriend’s house and within blocks, took a hard left that made him veer out of his lane and into the area where Aiken was waiting for her bus. When Hetherington got to his job minutes later, business surveillance video caught him on camera.
“It showed a vehicle pulling up early in the morning and parking out on the grass and somebody getting out walking around it, going back in, shutting the truck off – going into the business,” Dan Zelinski said.
Zelinski owns a business across the street from Heterington’s job. He said by 7:00 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. a huge police presence was at ABC Supply showing interest in a red pickup truck.
“How do you think they knew to come here right away?” said Lauren Sweeny, WINK News investigative reporter.
“They probably got a tip from somebody that the vehicle was seen in the area and had been parked there,” Zelinski said.
Police took months to work their case to pin it on Heterington. We know that included seizing cellphones from Savannah Nelson, his teenage girlfriend, along with his father Mike Heterington.
Police believe the girlfriend and the father appeared to coordinate their story with each other and said they would not answer police questions. Many are wondering: will they be charged as accessories to the crime?
“These are the facts that they’re relying on,” said Nicole Waid, a former prosecutor. “I think it would be a difficult case to make against either the dad or the girlfriend.”
Waid said the dad would not face charges.
“The weird thing about the Florida statute is that it actually has a carve out for blood relatives,” Waid said. “So mom’s, dad’s, sisters, brothers, grandparents, they actually cannot be charged under the accessory-after-the-fact statute.”
As for the girlfriend, Waid said from a prosecutor’s standpoint there is not anything in what she has read so far that looks like she could be charged with a crime.
“I would anticipate there could be other evidence out there, there could be other statutes out there,” Waid said. “I don’t know if the police or the prosecutors are looking into something else that could be charged.”
We know that Cape Coral police did not want the information about the girlfriend and dad getting out there. They blacked it out of the reports.WINK News has the exclusive unredacted copy that tells a more complete picture. But Cape Coral police have not told us if they are investigating anyone else.