Duval County

Judge to decide sentencing date for mother who killed daughter while running from police

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The sentencing day will be set on Monday for a mother who pleaded guilty to killing her daughter while running from police.

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Pamela Cabrera pleaded guilty to the charges against her in January.

Her guilty plea comes after investigators said she took her 5-year-old daughter Vanity, whom she didn’t have custody of, and led police on a high-speed chase.

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After she didn’t make a turn trying to get off I-95 onto 9B, the car crashed into a retention pond and sank to the bottom. Investigators said Cabrera survived by holding onto a tire, but Vanity was trapped in the front. Officers couldn’t save her.

Court records showed that Cabrera has a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. At one point during the court process, she was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial, but a reevaluation was done in late August.

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Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson, a criminal defense attorney not affiliated with the case, said that once Cabrera was cleared, it’s fair game to pursue the charges.

“She couldn’t plead guilty if she was not competent, so the fact that she became competent after a period of incompetency allowed her to plea guilty, and typically, that’s to a structured sentence,” Carson explained.

Cabrera’s sentencing date has yet to be set. A judge will decide a date on Monday at 9 a.m.

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