Broward News

Save the Cheerleader: Probation for Teen Who Committed Fatal Hit-and-Run

That's Jordan Valdez, who was a 16-year-old cheerleader driving her SUV home from practice through Tampa streets last February 8 when she struck and killed homeless woman, Melissa Sjostrom. Sjostrom's biological mother, Connie Wheeler, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, wanted Valdez to be charged as an adult and get 30 years in prison for the crime. Instead, the cheerleader got probation.

The St. Petersburg Times has reported that Wheeler has a developmental disability and that the 33-year-old Sjostrom had been adopted and raised primarily by Marylou Henson, a Californian who currently has custody of Sjostrom's 15-year-old son.

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Thomas Francis