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Friday, June 21, 2024

Defendant in hit-and-run fatality lawsuit changes his plea

Joshua Figueroa will go before a judge on March 23 to have his change of plea accepted or denied


One year, two months and 16 days after Maggie Paxton was killed in a hit-and-run crash while crossing University Ave. — her killer pleads guilty. 

On Dec. 9, 2020, Paxton was crossing the street when she was struck by Figueroa’s BMW. 

The deaths of multiple UF students, including Paxton, sparked a campus-wide response with the inceptions of Florida Not One More and Gators Against Student Pedestrian Deaths

Figueroa pleaded not guilty in July 2021 and filed a notice of intent to participate in discovery, meaning the state must provide the defendant’s counsel with all evidence against the accused.

On Feb. 24, the 31-year-old mechanic filed to change his plea and will have it accepted or denied by Judge Phillip A. Pena March 23.

Figueroa’s change of plea could be a result of several factors, said spokesperson Darry Lloyd of the Office of State Attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit.

“It is ultimately the decision of the defendant,” Lloyd said. 

Nothing is guaranteed; but no matter which way the case goes, Lloyd said, they are ready to present their case. 

Contact Troy Myers at or follow him on Twitter @Troy_Myers1.

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Troy Myers

Troy is the criminal justice reporter and a fourth-year journalism major with an outside focus in business administration. He previously studied accounting for two years at Santa Fe College but has since transferred to UFCJC. When Troy isn’t writing, he enjoys going to the beach and spending time with his dog, identical twin brother and family.

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