Tarpon Springs DUI manslaughter suspect now a fugitive - WFLA News Channel 8

Tarpon Springs DUI manslaughter suspect now a fugitive

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Garrett Bruce Garrett Bruce
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -
DUI manslaughter suspect Garrett Bruce appears to be on the run and may have taken his family with him.

Bruce is supposed to face trial in Pinellas County next week for DUI manslaughter, but failed to show up for a court hearing Monday.

His lawyer said he was stressed and possibly suicidal. That prompted Pinellas Circuit Judge R. Timothy Peters to issue a warrant for Bruce's arrest.

None of that surprises Patricia Walker, mother of backseat passenger Patrick Vossbein who died when Bruce hit a power pole in Tarpon Springs at high speed in December 2011.  "He cut his own ankle bracelet off and went on the run," said Walker. "I told people he was a flight risk and now we know," she said.

Walker traveled to Pinellas County for Bruce's pretrial court hearing Monday, just as she has 13 times before to monitor Bruce's court case.
She was in court when Judge Peters issued a warrant for Bruce's arrest.
"I promised my son when he was passing away that I would get justice for him," Walker said. "Now I feel like I'm letting him down because he's [Bruce] on the run."

Pasco Sheriff's detectives have other concerns in the case.

Bruce's wife Jennifer removed both of their children Dylan, age 7, and Brett, age 5, from Longleaf Elementary School in New Port Richey two weeks ago. "Jennifer took the kids out of school and said they won't be returning,"said Tobin. 

Now, the entire family is missing.

"We're trying to reach out to the two kids to make sure they're OK," said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin.
Tobin said a bail bondsman is also looking for Bruce because he stands to lose $100,000 now that Bruce has skipped town.
Bruce is from Georgia and has family in South Florida.

As of Monday Judge Peters said he planned to keep Bruce's upcoming DUI manslaughter trial on the docket for next week and scheduled another hearing Thursday to see if he shows up.

Related Content: Parents await justice in Pinellas Co. DUI case

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