A cornerback for the No. 13 University of Florida must perform 50 hours of community service, reimburse $1,753 in stolen money to a credit union and commit no further crimes over the next year under an agreement with prosecutors in a felony theft case, according to court records.
The criminal case against Jaydon Hill, 20, of Huntsville, Alabama, materialized over the summer in Alachua Circuit Court but was never publicized. Hill, a junior who played in all 12 games last season and started in five games, signed a deferred prosecution agreement July 28 that would keep the felonies off his record if he successfully completes its provisions.
It was not clear whether Coach Dan Mullen disciplined Hill over the felony charges. Hill tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and already was expected to miss this entire season, the team announced last month. Days after he signed the prosecution agreement, Hill tweeted, “i love mullen.”
Police said Hill admitted stealing a debit card and using it to pay more than $1,600 in overdue university parking tickets, among other purchases, according to the newly discovered court records.
Hill did not immediately respond to phone calls and a text message Friday, and no defense lawyer was identified in the case against him. A spokesman for the university’s athletics department also did not respond to a phone call and text message on Friday.
Florida (1-0) was playing the University of South Florida (0-1) on Saturday in Tampa.
According to detectives, on May 8, Hill broke into a car, where he stole a debit card and went on a two-day, $1,700 spending spree, then lied about the incident when interrogated by police.
According to a sworn complaint filed in Alachua County Circuit Court in June, while investigating a car burglary, authorities found that a debit card stolen from the vehicle was used to settle more than $1,600 in unpaid UF parking fines.
Detectives quickly determined those citations were issued to Hill. Using internet address logs, investigators were able to trace some of those transactions to the apartment complex where Hill lives.
The investigation began when a resident at another apartment complex discovered his wallet had been removed from the glovebox of his vehicle and its contents spread on the seat. The victim contacted police and reported $80 cash and his debit card missing.
Someone bought $18.10 worth of food at McDonald’s less than 30 minutes after the card was stolen, police said.
Later that day, surveillance footage placed Hill’s black Camaro at a chicken and seafood restaurant where someone charged $12.40. Less than 45 minutes later, cameras at a nearby gas station captured images of a man matching Hill’s description pumping $30 worth of fuel into the same vehicle.
According to the report, Hill then made four transactions, worth $1,692.90, to pay his overdue parking tickets.
On June 2, as he was pulling into his parking lot, Gainesville police detained Hill and questioned him at the police station.
Hill initially denied breaking into the vehicle and said he had purchased the card from an unknown person. Hill’s story began to unravel after a photo of the victim’s driver’s license, which was not stolen from the vehicle, was discovered in Hill’s phone. When confronted with inconsistencies in his story, Hill then admitted to stealing the card, police said.
This story was produced by Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. The reporter can be reached at email@example.com