Former Credit Union Executive Sentenced in Hit-and-Run Case
Two years ago, a newspaper lauded Jarvis Kendrick as an emerging young leader in Central Florida’s business community.
On Monday, the former senior vice president of the $2.9 billion MidFlorida Credit Union in Lakeland, began his four-year prison sentence for the fatal hit and run of a 74-year-old woman last October. Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney also sentenced Kendrick, 38, to four years, to be served concurrently, for attempting to tamper with evidence in an effort to conceal his hit and run crime. He was also sentenced to 10 years of probation following his prison term and 200 hours of community service. Judge Abdoney also revoked Kendrick’s license for three years and ordered him to pay fines and court costs.
Although he could have received up to three decades in prison after pleading no contest to the charges in August, Judge Abdoney sentenced the former credit union executive to the required minimum four-year prison term for a fatal hit and run.
According to police investigators, Janice Joy was walking on Duff Road in Lakeland on Oct. 6, during Hurricane Matthew at about 6:30 a.m. when a pickup truck driven by Kendrick struck Joy with the passenger side and its side mirror.
In court documents, Kendrick said he did not see Joy walking on the edge of the roadway while it was still dark though he heard a sound and felt a bump. He did not brake immediately and did not see anything in his side or read view mirrors. After a car behind him stopped, Kendrick said in court documents that he realized he needed to turn around to find out what happened.
He walked up to Joy’s lifeless body where others had gathered.
Though he had no intentions of leaving the scene, Kendrick said in court documents that after he saw the woman’s bloodied face, he felt sick and panicked. He walked back to his truck and left before police arrived.
Kendrick drove to Long Boat Key from the Lakeland area for a meeting that was scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m. Video surveillance at the Longboat Key Golf Club showed that Kendrick arrived at this meeting destination at 8:34 a.m. The video also showed the truck he was driving was missing the passenger side mirror, according to the investigation.
Police found the plastic covering of the pickup truck’s side mirror and broken pieces of its glass on the road.
Kendrick stayed at Long Boat Key overnight and the next day on Oct. 7, he drove to Tampa International Airport and flew to Vancouver, Canada.
On Oct. 9, he flew back to Tampa. While he was driving home, police investigators said they believe Kendrick deliberately drove his pick truck into a sign on Interstate 4.
He reported the traffic crash to the Florida Highway Patrol. The next day, on Oct. 10, Kendrick reported the crash to his insurance company and that he had taken his vehicle to a body shop. The body shop confirmed the passenger side mirror was on its list of repairs for Kendrick’s truck.
“What magnifies Jarvis’s mistake in the moment, of course, is that he continued the course of flight-and-hide after the emotionality of the moment waned,” Kendrick’s lawyer Lawrence D. Shearer wrote in court documents. “Knowing he had already made the sin of leaving, he chose to say nothing and hope he was not discovered. The crime was complete once he had left, but Jarvis certainly missed the opportunity mitigate it. For that, Jarvis Kendrick accepts his responsibility.”
Kendrick apologized to the victim’s family during his sentencing hearing.
Kendrick served as senior vice president and regional manager of West Polk operations for MidFlorida CU since January 2013 until he was fired last year. He joined the credit union in November 2001 as an assistant vice president/branch manager.
In September 2015, he was profiled in a newspaper article as one of the five recipients of the 2015 Polk County Emerging Leaders award that recognized him for his career accomplishments and his contributions to the community.