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Spring Hill man sentenced to 30 years in prison after plea in November shooting

BROOKSVILLE — A man who authorities say left another man paralyzed by shooting him in the back last fall was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison.

Bonnel Azemar, 38, of Spring Hill pleaded no contest to attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm.

Investigators say Azemar showed up at Derick Vassar's home in Spring Hill on Nov. 16 to collect $30 Vassar owed him. After Vassar said he would pay him later and started to walk away, Azemar shot him in the back, severing his spine, Assistant State Attorney Rob Lewis told Circuit Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. on Thursday.

"Those steps … would be the last steps he would take," Lewis said.

Vassar, 35, approved of the plea deal and sat in a wheelchair in the back of the courtroom during Thursday's hearing.

"I'm just glad it's over," he said afterward.

Had he been convicted at trial, Azemar faced up to life in prison.

Spring Hill man sentenced to 30 years in prison after plea in November shooting 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:24pm]
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