Driver in fatal house crash pleads not guilty

Published On: Oct 22 2012 12:13:12 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 22 2012 04:02:55 PM EDT

Ismet Sijamhodzic (center) makes his first appearance in court.


The man who police say failed to stop his minivan at a stop sign and crashed into the bedroom of a 17-year-old, killing her, entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Monday.

Ismet Sijamhodzic, 51, who's charged with vehicular homicide in the death of JaNay Jackson, waived his right to appear in court. His next pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 13, and attorneys are trying to set his trial for Dec. 10.

Sijamhodzic refused to comment as he left the courthouse after Monday's hearing. Another man walking beside him said "no comment."

Sijamhodzic was released from jail last month on $250,000 bail. He was arrested after a toxicology report showed he had Xanax and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash in August.

Jackson (pictured right), a Wolfson High School drum major, was ranked third in her senior class. Family and friends say she dreamed of becoming a nurse practitioner.

According to the police report, Sijamhodzic told investigators he hadn't slept in three days prior to the Aug. 28 accident.

He has a lengthy list of traffic violations and speeding tickets dating back to 1996, according to court records. Sijamhodzic was arrested in 2009 and was charged with providing alcohol to a minor.


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