A judge revoked bail for a Deland man Wednesday, and now officials are facing the task of finding a man who may have fled the country.
Circuit Judge Randell Rowe III revoked bail for William David Lopez after he failed to appear for his hearing on Wednesday to face charges of DUI manslaughter. Judge Rowe had already issued a nationwide arrest warrant on March 7 for Lopez after a bondsman said he had not been able to find Lopez in a month.
Attorney David Damore said at the hearing on March 7th that Lopez is an undocumented immigrant and may have fled to Mexico. Damore was one of several officials who have criticized another Judge's decision to grant Lopez bail despite a warning he was a flight risk.
Lopez, 27, was arrested after a deadly crash on February 6th on U.S. 17 near Spring Garden Avenue, not far from DeLeon Springs, according to a police report.
Lopez's vehicle crashed with a Hyundai driven by Connie Rae Rodriguez, 61, from North Carolina. Rodriguez was transported to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach where she was pronounced dead.
Blood drawn at the time of the crash showed Lopez had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.
On Monday, the State Attorney's Office filed formal charges against Lopez: DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and no valid driver's license causing death, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to a report Lopez was granted $35,000 bail and then fled within 24 hours after his release from jail on February 8th. In a petition filed by Damore on behalf of 2nd 2None Bail Bonds Damore wrote in large bold letters: “LOPEZ IS NOT A US CITIZEN AND IS A POTENTIAL FLIGHT RISK."
County Judge Dawn Fields granted bail to Lopez despite the warning. She declined to comment the Daytona Beach News Journal.