Man accused of killing 8-year-old in hit-and-run appearing in court

The family of an 8-year-old girl killed in a hit-and-run at her bus stop is preparing for what could be a long trial. The man accused of hitting and killing her in his truck and leaving the scene is set to appear before a judge. And he has already pled not gulity through submitted paperwork.

Logan Hetherington, 19, will appear in court Monday after being arrested for killing Layla Aiken in Cape Coral back in March. And Hetherington submitted his not-gulity plea to the Lee Clerk of Court in May.

Glen Aiken, Layla’s father, said he is no longer full of hate for Hetherington.

“I had to let all this stuff go, the hate go. I just couldn’t,” Glen said. “For me personally, I just can’t be consumed by the hate that this brings with it.”

A criminal defense attorney we spoke to said defendants will almost always plead not guilty in cases like Hetherington’s.

“There’s only two options,” Glen said. “It would be better for us obviously if he pled guilty, but we don’t think that’s going to happen. So we’re in it for the long haul obviously.”

Layla’s family is gearing up for a lengthy trial if Hetherington pleads not guilty in court.

“I’ll have family there representing us,” Glen said.

Glen said he makes sure to talk about the way his daughter lived every day instead of focusing on her tragic death.

“She was a great kid; man, she was all smiles,” Glen said. “She’s still a big part of our lives every day.”

Layla’s father said he does not wish the worst for Hetherington

“I don’t want this kid to spend the rest of his life in jail,” Glen said. “I think he needs to learn his lesson. I don’t know how you get there … if it’s got to be prison time or what. I don’t know, but I would like for him to do what I would do and take responsibility for his actions.”

Glen hopes other grieving families in the area are able to get answers too such as the family of 12-year-old Alana Tamplin, who was killed walking her little sister to her bus stop in North Fort Myers in January.

“I feel bad for other families; that things haven’t moved so quickly,” Glen said. “Two months really isn’t that long for an arrest and three months for an arraignment, so it’s really not that long of a time. People wait years for stuff. You know, North Fort Myers, there hasn’t been an arrest made.”

We reached out to Florida Highway Patrol to see if there was any update on Alana’s case, but we have not received a response at this time.

Trust us to bring you updates on Hetherington’s court appearance in the morning.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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