Suspect in crash that killed Pinellas deputy faces murder charge

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The suspected drunk driver accused of hitting and killing a Pinellas County deputy is now facing several charges, including felony murder.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said Robert Allen Holzaepfel, 33, was being chased by deputies in the area of East Lake Road and Forelock Road when he lost control of his truck and hit Deputy Michael Magli, who was in a median retrieving and deploying stop sticks. The collision pinned Magli under his cruiser, killing him.

“To say it’s a tragedy is an understatement. There’s no words that can make any sense of it. There’s nothing that you can express. Their life is forever changed. It will never be the same,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

The 30-year-old deputy leaves behind a wife and two young kids.

Holzaepfel was not injured. Online jail records show he is facing several charges, including aggravated fleeing and eluding police, felony murder and DUI manslaughter.

Gualtieri said Holzaepfel has 16 prior felonies, and was on probation, driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash.

East Lake Road remains closed Thursday morning.

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