TAMPA, Fla. – The parents of a teacher implicated in a fatal hit-and-run accident were meeting with prosecutors Thursday after judge threatened them with jail time if they didn't cooperate.
James and Lillian Porter entered the office through a side door to avoid six protesters who said the couple's daughter hasn't been arrested because she is white. The two children killed in the accident were black.
The couple had initially refused to answer questions from the Hillsborough County prosecutor about the involvement of their 28-year-old daughter, Jennifer Porter (search), in the March 31 accident.
Most states, including Florida, can compel parents to testify against their children, even if they are juveniles.
Jennifer Porter's attorney, Barry Cohen, earlier acknowledged his client's involvement in the March 31 accident. The carefully worded statement avoided any admission of hitting the young brothers, Bryant Wilkins, 13, and Durantae Caldwell, 3, as they walked home from a park. An 8-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were injured.
Cohen also represents the Jennifer Porter's parents.
Investigators say cell phone records show that Jennifer Porter called her parents' home shortly after the accident. She has not been charged.
Jennifer Porter's sister's boyfriend answered prosecutors' questions Wednesday, his lawyer said. The boyfriend, Kurt Doiron, lives with the Porters and was at their home the night of the accident.
Malissa Wilkins, the mother of the dead and injured children, has said she doesn't consider race isn't an issue in the accident. She said last week she was satisfied with the progress the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was making in its investigation of Jennifer Porter.