Man receives 25 years for 2020 Gainesville death

Demetrius Hardy with gavel
Demetrius Hardy received a 25-year minimum/mandatory sentence for the 2020 death of Kayla Jackson.

Demetrius Hardy pleaded on June 30 in front of Judge Phillip Pena and received the 25-year minimum/mandatory sentence for the 2020 death of Kayla Jackson in Gainesville.

A grand jury indicted Hardy, 21, on Oct. 15, 2020, for the second-degree murder of Jackson on March 7, 2020, weeks after Hardy had been released from prison for grand theft, fleeing and attempting to elude.

The incident occurred in downtown Gainesville after a fight in a bar led outside and gunshots hit two bystanders, according to WUFT. Jackson died of the gunshot, but the other bystander survived. 

The family of Jackson chose to participate in the Restorative Justice Project which set up a meeting with Hardy. According to a press release, the project seeks to “restore balance and repair harm” and is only possible when the defendant admits they caused harm.

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