First Degree Murder and Other Charges In Hillsborough Deputy's Death


LISTEN to an interview with State Attorney Andrew Warren AT THIS LINK:

TAMPA -- The man accused in the death of a Hillsborough sheriff's deputy just hours before his retirement will face charges of first degree, premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer, and more.

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren's office says that's one of nine felony charges filed against Travis Garrett, who had a status hearing Friday afternoon.

Warren described Garrett's actions as "a deliberate attack on law enforcement; he targeted a cop. " Warren says detectives are focused despite their loss, and working with prosecutors to build the strongest possible case." First degree premeditated murder is a capital felony, meaning the death penalty is a possibility.

The state attorney will ask a judge to hold Garrett without bond, in a detention hearing set for Monday.

Deputies say Garrett got in his car and drove off after punching a deputy in the head. Two deputies were investigating reports that Garrett was creating a disturbance at his apartment. According to the Hillsborough sheriff, Garrett then rammed the patrol car being driven by 54-year-old Master Corporal Brian LaVigne, killing him (LaVigne was posthumously promoted to Sergeant).

These are the other charges facing Garrett:

- Fleeing to Elude (at High Speed Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death) – 1st degree felony

- Vehicular Homicide – 2nd degree felony

- DUI Manslaughter – 2nd degree felony

- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer – 2 Counts – 3rd degree felony

- Resisting Officer with Violence – 2 Counts – 3rd degree felony

- Criminal Mischief (with $1,000 or More in Damage) – 3rd degree felony

Garrett has been hospitalized since the crash and is not expected to appear in person for court proceedings.

Photo: HCSO