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February Car Accident Leads To Vehicular Manslaughter Charges For Thonotosassa Man

A fatal car accident in February yielded vehicular homicide charges for a Thonotosassa man last week after a tip to police led to his arrest.

The Florida Highway Patrol says Leroy Roscoe Middelton III was driving a borrowed Nissan Sentra northbound on U.S. 301 south of Harney Road just before noon on February 25 when he struck the rear of a Ford F-150 driven by Manuel Patino-Villa. Per witnesses on the scene, Middelton's vehicle was traveling well above the posted speed limits when it struck Patino-Villa's truck.

Investigators say the force of the impact sent the truck over the concrete median and into the ditch on the other side of the road. In addition, the wreck dislodged Patino-Villa from the truck, sending him partially outside it and inflicting mortal injuries in the process. Patino-Villa was declared dead at the scene. An adult female passenger was also partially ejected and suffered critical injuries, and two children in the truck escaped with minor injuries.

As to Middelton, police say he climbed into the passenger seat of another vehicle and left the scene, driven away by an unknown female. The Sentra's registered owner arrived to the scene shortly after and, according to police, told them that Middelton called her and urged her to report the vehicle stolen.

Upon being identified by the Sentra's owner, the hunt for Middelton began. Though no tips panned out for several months, the Florida Highway Patrol was made aware of his presence at his girlfriend's house, where he was arrested on August 24.

Middelton was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He continues to be held in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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