HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The man accused of killing a Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy by ramming his vehicle into his patrol car has been indicted by a grand jury on a capital felony charge, the State’s Attorney’s Office said.
“This was an intentional attack on law enforcement,” State Attorney Andrew Warren told 8 On Your Side Friday.
Travis Garrett, 28, will be prosecuted for first-degree premeditated murder of a law enforcement office in the death of Corporal Brian LaVigne.
Lavigne died Jan. 11 after investigators say Garrett intentionally rammed his vehicle into his marked patrol car while trying to flee from officers in Brandon. The deputy was just days away from his retirement, the sheriff’s office said.
After the crash, Garrett was treated at a hospital, then booked into a Hillsborough County Jail. A grand jury later heard from prosecutors and determined that the evidence was enough for a first-degree murder indictment.
“If we’re able to convict him for this crime he will die in prison,” Warren said. He added his office could choose to pursue the death penalty at a later date.
Prosecutors will also pursue eight other felony counts against him, including fleeing to elude, vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence and criminal mischief.
“The detectives had to go through the work that they do every day to build a case while mourning the loss of one of their family members,” Warren said.
Garrett is being represented by a public defender. He will be arraigned for the murder charge next week.
A judge approved the state’s attorney’s office request that Garrett be held without bond until his trial.