Sarasota News Leader

11/29/2013

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CRIME BLOTTER Sarasota resident Donna Chen was struck in a sharp curve on Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. File photo TALMAN ACCEPTS SECOND OFFER OF PLEA DEAL IN CHEN CASE The driver of the vehicle who was drunk when he struck and killed a Siesta Key runner in January 2012 accepted a plea deal from the State Attorney's Office on Nov. 25 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with four years set as a mandatory minimum by 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Frederick P. Mercurio, court records show. On Sept. 3, Blake C. Talman, 24, was scheduled to accept a 15-year plea deal, but that morning, his public defender, Patricia Edwards, notified the Office of the State Attorney that he had decided to go forward with a trial. The Sarasota News Leader was unable to reach Edwards or Assistant State Attorney Amanda Gambert to learn any reason for Talman's decision to take the deal this week. After Talman rejected the state's offer in September, his trial was set for the week of Nov. 12 or Nov. 18, Gambert told the News Leader. Talman was arrested on the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2012, on multiple charges after striking and killing Donna Chen, 53, of Sarasota, who was running with her dog on the sidewalk in what Siesta Key residents have long described as a dangerous curve near St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church on Midnight Pass Road. Talman pleaded guilty on Nov. 25 to one count of Driving Under the Influence (Manslaughter); one count of Driving Under the Influence (Serious Bodily Injury); three

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