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'Habitual offender' facing vehicular homicide charge bails out of jail in Clay County

The family of the victim in the crash, Gavin Conroy, didn't know Clifford Ringer was out of jail until they ran into him at a liquor store, his aunt said.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Middleburg man that was charged with vehicular homicide and has an extensive history of reckless driving was released from jail last week. 

While he is still not allowed to drive, Ringer was granted bond in August but initially said he could not afford the $260,000 amount set by a judge. However, since then he was able to bond out.

Clifford Ringer is accused in the death of 23-year-old Gavin Conroy, who died from severe burns following a fiery car crash in April. 

He has over 40 traffic citations from throughout his life, including DUI charges. He was not supposed to be on the road the day of the car crash involving Conroy.

Conroy's family says they weren't notified that Ringer was out of jail. Conroy's mother and aunt found out when they came face-to-face with him. 

It was Thanksgiving Day, in a liquor store. 

The family said that they believed Ringer was hitchhiking and do not believe he drove to the store. 

It was the first holiday this family was without their loved one. They say they are hurt and feels the justice system failed them.

“Of all days, of all the stores, on Thanksgiving to run into him," Gavin's aunt, Stacie Whitlatch, said. "We don’t get to see Gavin on Thanksgiving but the one person we had to see was him. So it was really, really hard. No games were played on Thanksgiving. It was just a bunch of tears being shed and a lot of hugging and a lot of conversations about Gavin."

Ringer's attorney, David Robbins, says Ringer is very remorseful for what happened, but suggests Gavin Conroy’s car was partly to blame.

Conroy's car erupted into flames. He suffered burns over more than 90% of his body and was in the hospital for months before his death in August. 

“it just so happened, that that day at that time at that location, that’s what happened," Robbins said. "The crash did not kill the young man, unfortunately he caught fire because the car caught fire. That’s really the harshest thing I think, maybe for everybody, to understand.” 

First Coast News was able to collect 42 mugshots from Clifford Ringer's history. They can be seen below.

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