Man who disappeared during hit-and-run trial heading to prison

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
April 17, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A man who made headlines earlier this year for fleeing from court during his vehicular homicide trial is now heading to prison.

26-year-old Deontae Johnson was sentenced Wednesday to 45 years behind bars.

Johnson was arrested after police determined he was behind the wheel in a fatal hit-and-run crash just after midnight on December 26, 2016 at the intersection of Tennessee Street and Appleyard Drive. The crash killed 17-year old Rickards High School student Tyriq Roberts.

TPD says crash data shows Johnson was driving 122 miles per hour just before the accident, and was recorded at 91 miles per hour a half-second before impact with Roberts' car.

Johnson was convicted at his trial in February of vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and three counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury.

Johnson managed to cut off his ankle monitor and flee the courthouse just prior to the conviction and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Johnson surrendered to U.S. Marshals a few days later.

Johnson had been facing the possibility of life in prison.

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