Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Hudson man gets decade in prison after plea in Hernando DUI manslaughter case

BROOKSVILLE — Denise Crawford came to court Wednesday expecting to see the man who crashed into her sister last year sent to prison. But Crawford wanted something else, too.

"You took a life from us," Crawford said, fixing her gaze on Matthew T. Horne, who stood at another lectern a few feet away. "All we want is an apology. And I hope you never, ever have to lose a child or a sister or a brother or your mom like that."

Moments before Hernando Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti sentenced Horne to 10-plus years in state prison, Horne offered that apology.

"I'm sorry for the grief I've caused your family," the 34-year-old father of two young boys said. "I made a horrible decision, and it seems like everybody else is paying for it."

Horne of Hudson was driving north on U.S. 19 in his GMC pickup about 5 a.m. on July 1, 2012, when he slammed into the back of Barbara Ward's Ford Escort in Spring Hill. The force of the impact pushed the Escort through the intersection of Spring Hill Drive, over a concrete curb and into a ditch.

Ward of Spring Hill died a week later at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. She was 65.

Samples taken after the crash put Horne's blood-alcohol level at 0.106, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. Florida law presumes impairment at a level of 0.08.

In addition to DUI manslaughter, Horne was charged with two counts of DUI with property damage. He faced a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted at trial.

Horne pleaded no contest Wednesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. He has one prior misdemeanor conviction, and the 125-month sentence he received was at the bottom of sentencing guidelines.

A native of New York, Ward moved to Florida about three years ago to be closer to her family, her son, Ken Lugrezia of Spring Hill, told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this year. Her husband, Gary, remained in New York to work at his auto repair job awhile longer before retiring and joining her.

Ward was a die-hard New York Yankees fan who loved to play bingo, cook pasta dishes and take her granddaughters, Sasha and Ashley, shopping.

Horne has been out on bail since his arrest.

Lugrezia and Crawford watched from the gallery as the judge levied the sentence. As a bailiff clicked cuffs around Horne's wrist, Lugrezia grabbed his aunt's hand and squeezed.

A few minutes later, Lugrezia stood in the courthouse lobby, his eyes red and rimmed with tears.

"No amount of time is going to be enough when you lose someone like that," he said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Comments
The Daystarter: Competency hearing for Seminole Heights slaying suspect; Is TIA a dining destination?; Clearwater looks to relocate City Hall; ‘Most Interesting Man’ in Tampa

The Daystarter: Competency hearing for Seminole Heights slaying suspect; Is TIA a dining destination?; Clearwater looks to relocate City Hall; ‘Most Interesting Man’ in Tampa

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Today’s high temperature tops out about 80 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP. Our next rain chance is Friday when a weak front moves through. And next week brings the heat. Expect ...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
ESPN’s Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

ESPN’s Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

When ESPN's Rece Davis heard about the idea for boosting the college football insight into the NFL draft, he didn't need any convincing."My immediate reaction was, this is a no-brainer," Davis said.Davis will spearhead the network's overdue look at t...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
We tried the new restaurants at Tampa International Airport, and we're full

We tried the new restaurants at Tampa International Airport, and we're full

When Tampa International Airport debuted in 1971, each terminal had a newsstand and a snack bar, called something kicky like Snack Bar.
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Carlton: The zoo is changing, but don’t worry. The meerkats are on it.

Carlton: The zoo is changing, but don’t worry. The meerkats are on it.

The other day I stopped to check on some progress. And got to see a meerkat, too. Progress in Tampa these days usually refers to the development of Vinikville — excuse me, Water Street Tampa — along the south edge of downtown. Or what w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

TAMPA — Dwight DuBose walked out of the Orient Road Jail on Tuesday night after trading an orange jumpsuit for a brand new polo shirt and slacks.It was about 9 p.m. He flashed a broad smile and hug staff members of the Innocence Project of Florida wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pennsylvania women guilty of golfing while black; 13 trucks line up in Detroit to stop suicide; Puerto Rican anger grows over lack of basic services; more in U.S. news

Pennsylvania women guilty of golfing while black; 13 trucks line up in Detroit to stop suicide; Puerto Rican anger grows over lack of basic services; more in U.S. news

PennsyvlaniaGuilty of golfing while blackBlack people have long complained about getting pulled over by police for "driving while black," or being eyed suspiciously by security guards for "shopping while black." Now, five women say they got into trou...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Toronto attacker likely hated women; 3 murdered film students had stumbled into Mexican gang battle; more in world news

Toronto attacker likely hated women; 3 murdered film students had stumbled into Mexican gang battle; more in world news

CanadaToronto attacker hated womenThe suspect in the deadly van attack in Toronto posted a chilling Facebook message just before plowing into a crowded sidewalk, authorities said Tuesday. The post indicated the computer studies graduate and ex-milita...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins is proud of his record in boosting high school graduation rates and inroads he has made in marketing the nation’s eight largest school district.His seven bosses on the School Board...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Shrinking supply of Tampa Bay condos and townhomes drives up prices

Shrinking supply of Tampa Bay condos and townhomes drives up prices

Sales of condos and townhomes in the Tampa Bay area jumped 9.5 percent in March, hitting a median of $156,000. The price gain was prompted in part by a supply shortage, with sales down 7.5 percent amid a dwindling inventory. Statewide, sales also lag...
Published: 04/25/18