A lawyer who is on trial for DUI manslaughter had a longtime Public Defender suggest his DUI penalties should include working as a free lawyer for the public defender’s office. Bruce Duncan is on trial for a fatal DUI crash and he is also a former assistant public defender. Current public defender Howard Babb recently suggested that if Duncan is convicted of DUI manslaughter his DUI penalty should include free legal work.
The suggested DUI sentence did not go over well with the family of the victim, prosecutors or the judge in the case. Babb told the Orlando Sentinel that he was “thinking outside the box”. The suggestion increased the fears the family had going into the process that Duncan would not get equal treatment due to his long-standing connections within the community.
According to that state’s DUI sentencing guidelines the 47-year-old lawyer is looking at a minimum of 10 years in prison if he is found guilty of the drunk driving charges. The state attorney in Lake County said the only DUI sentence that would be acceptable is one the falls within the state’s sentencing guidelines of 10-15 years.
The Florida criminal defense lawyers defending Duncan distanced themselves from Babb’s comments saying the public defender is not associated with their defense team and that they have not even talked to anyone about alternative sentences. They are just focused on preparing their defense of Duncan.
The fatal crash came after Duncan was in Gainesville to attend a University of Florida football game. He left the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks and allegedly was having difficulty staying in his lane. Duncan also said he did not see the motorcycle when he made a turn that resulted in the crash and death of the motorcyclist.
Duncan is reported to have told FHP Troopers that he drank vodka before the football game and he consented to a blood draw after the accident. There is no mention in the story of what the results were of that blood test. Duncan is on tape crying and saying “I killed somebody”.