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Man sentenced to 15 years for 2021 Sarasota vehicular homicide

Jordan Schopfer of Bradenton pled guilty for striking and killing a motorcyclist on North Beneva Road.

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  • | 3:45 p.m. November 13, 2023
  • Sarasota
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A Bradenton man has been sentenced in connection with a June 2021 traffic crash fatality in the 1200 block of North Beneva Road in Sarasota. 

On Nov. 3, Jordan Schopfer, 32, pled guilty to vehicular homicide and driving while license suspended, causing death or serious bodily injury. Schopfer crashed into a 60-year-old motorcyclist, whose name was withheld under Marsy’s Law. At the time of the crash, Schopfer’s driver's license had been revoked for DUI with personal injury, with previous suspensions. He was also on probation on charges of arson.

As part of the plea agreement, Schopfer was sentenced to 15 years and five months in state prison. 

The motorcyclist was riding southbound on North Beneva Road when witnesses said Schopfer moved from the northbound outside lane to the inside lane, crossed the raised concrete median and into the southbound lanes, hitting the victim. Traffic homicide investigators searched Schopfer’s vehicle, finding a can of compressed air and a receipt with a purchase time of 12 minutes prior to the crash. Officers also located a bag that contained a commercial-grade whipping cream container.

Investigators developed probable cause that Schopfer huffed or snorted nitrous oxide, the initial effects of which are similar to those of anesthetics that may be followed by hallucinations, general depression, slurred speech and drowsiness or sleep within seconds to minutes of use.

Schopfer was arrested in Manatee County in 2021 by the U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force.