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

Fugitive due in Pinellas court is no show

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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."


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