Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region


    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.
  5. The Daystarter: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 tonight; Bucs' McCoy says some fans cross line; Trump associate to testify; helicopter crashes onto Odessa roof


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.


    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]