JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville couple has been sentenced for their role in a deadly hit-and-run that claimed the life of 2-year-old Janya Solomon.
At a hearing Friday morning, several family members of the victim spoke in front of a crowded courtroom before Judge Mark Hulsey sentenced the defendants.
Serdarus Scott, 35, defendant, previously pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and operating a drivers license while revoked for being a habitual traffic offender.
Ariel Alexis Siplin, 29, defendant, previously pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence.
Natalie Parker, the victim's mother, said she misses her little girl every day.
"We can't bring her back but we can get justice for her," she said.
Investigators said Scott hit the toddler, stopped and got out of his vehicle, and then told his girlfriend to drive the vehicle away from the scene. Meanwhile, the toddler was dying on the pavement.
Scott ran away from the scene on foot and later got back in the vehicle with his girlfriend.
The accident happened while Solomon was following her older sister across the Harold House Apartments parking lot, located on Ring Lane. She was taken to UF Health Jacksonville where she died from her injuries.
"She was just so happy. She was never sad. She was always happy," Parker said.
Scott and Siplin went into hiding for several days until eyewitness accounts led investigators to Scott at an apartment complex nearby. Siplin was arrested close to a month after the accident.
Scott's attorney said the girl was unsupervised, which contributed to her death.
Prosecutors said the crash happened in a child-friendly apartment complex where children frequently play outside. Prosecutors said there are also speed-bumps in the parking lot, and that Scott should have been more aware of his surroundings.
Scott has at least 30 traffic stops and multiple citations on his record, according to court documents. He was not supposed to be driving when the crash occurred.
Scott was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Siplin will spend one year in jail for her role in the incident.