Parents await justice in Pinellas DUI manslaughter case - WFLA News Channel 8

Parents await justice in Pinellas DUI manslaughter case

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Patrick Vosbein Patrick Vosbein

The parents of crash victim Patrick Vosbein drove to Pinellas County from Mississippi and Tennessee to attend a trial Tuesday only to find out Monday morning there will be no trial, at least not yet.

"That leaves me heartbroke," said Chris Vosbein, the victim's father. "I was expecting to get justice for my son."

Garrett Bruce, 32, faces a charge of DUI manslaughter that has been pending since Tarpon Springs Police arrested him more than a year ago for driving drunk and killing his passenger Patrick Vosbein who died in his mother's arms three days after the December 2011 crash.

"I promised my son when he was passing away, my hand was on his heart and I was holding his hand," said Vosbein's mother Patricia Walker. "I told him as long as there's a breath in me I will get justice for you."

Police say Bruce was driving at speeds in excess of 100mph hours after leaving his job at the Tarpon Springs Papa John's pizza store. Bruce lost control and hit a power pole while traveling 70mph. Investigators say Bruce's blood alcohol was .103, well above the .08 presumed level of impairment.

Bruce's defense lawyer says Vosbein was drinking too and wasn't wearing a seatbelt, which he believes are grounds for a reduced sentence if Bruce decides to plead guilty.

The lawyer convinced judge R. Timothy Peters he is not ready for trial and there is a chance of working out a plea deal with prosecutors and the victim's family.

Vosbein and Walker say they're not interested in any deals.

"I want the maximum guidelines for this guy," said Walker. "I want him to pay for what he has done to this family."

At the end of Monday's whispered bench conference, judge Peters announced there would be another pretrial hearing in the case October 14.

Vosbein's parents left the courtroom dejected, knowing they will have to wait longer for justice in their son's death. As of Monday there is no trial date scheduled in the case.

"It's going to be a long drive home," said Walker. "Very long."

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