Fugitive due in Pinellas court is no show - WFLA News Channel 8

Fugitive due in Pinellas court is no show

Posted: Updated:
Garrett Bruce Garrett Bruce
One of the last photos posted to Jennifer Bruce's Facebook page. It was added on Sept. 5, 2013. One of the last photos posted to Jennifer Bruce's Facebook page. It was added on Sept. 5, 2013.
One of the last photos posted to Jennifer Bruce's Facebook page shows her sons Dylan and Brett. It was added on Sept. 5, 2013. One of the last photos posted to Jennifer Bruce's Facebook page shows her sons Dylan and Brett. It was added on Sept. 5, 2013.
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

DUI manslaughter defendant Garrett Bruce was supposed to be in a Pinellas courtroom for a status check Thursday before his trial next week but he didn't show up.

"Law enforcement is actively looking for him," said Pinellas prosecutor Greg Groger. "In these types of cases things can develop rather quickly or they can take days or weeks."

Pinellas Circuit Judge R. Timothy Peters said he will wait till Monday to call off Bruce's trial.

"The obvious concern is we call off the witnesses and the next day they say they got him abut we've called off the witnesses off and can't have the trial," said Peters.

Monday, Peters declared Bruce a fugitive and issued a warrant for his arrest when he failed to show up for a pretrial hearing. A bail bondsman first reported Bruce missing on January 8th after Bruce cut off the GPS ankle monitor the bondsman made him wear because of the $100,000 bond in the case.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has also issued a nationwide missing person's alert for Bruce's wife Jennifer and two sons Dylan, age 7, and Brett, age 5, when they vanished earlier this month shortly after Bruce removed his GPS monitor. Detectives believe the family is in hiding together.

Bruce is charged with killing a passenger in his car, Patrick Vossbein in December 2011 when Bruce slammed into a Tarpon Springs power pole at 70 miles per hour. Investigators say Bruce's blood alcohol was well above the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Vossbein's fiance said Thursday that Bruce has never accepted responsibility.

"He doesn't think he as to face the consequences for what he did," Said Leah Selevan. "I have to say, 'man up and come in'. Don't involve all of your family in this, it's already a horrible situation."

Bruce faces up to 15 years in prison if a jury convicts him for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. Skipping out on his trial could add another five years to that sentence.

Prior to Bruce's disappearance the judge had granted five postponements in the trial, but Bruce's legal delays had finally run their course and the trial was finally set to begin next Tuesday.

"He's never shown remorse," said Selevan. "He's never apologized."


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • 8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:10:54 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:43:17 GMT
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:19 GMT
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.