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Clay County trial for 'habitual offender' facing vehicular homicide charge delayed indefinitely

Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash that lead to Clay County 23-year-old Gavin Conroy's death.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — The trial for a Middleburg man that was charged with vehicular homicide and has a history of reckless driving has been delayed indefinitely, as Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.

Clifford Ringer has over 40 traffic citations from throughout his life, including DUI charges, labeling him a 'habitual offender.'

He was not supposed to be on the road the night that he allegedly rear-ended 23-year-old Gavin Conroy's car. 

Conroy's car burst into flames. He spent months in the hospital with severe burns, enduring several surgeries, including attempted skin grafts and the amputation of both of his legs. 

When he died on August 10, he had been in the hospital for 118 days.

After Conroy's death, Ringer's charges were upgraded to include vehicular homicide.

He spent months in jail before bounding out just before Thanksgiving. Gavin's family said they found out he was out of jail when they crossed paths with him in a liquor store.

Conroy's family has been attending each court date, hoping to see Ringer back behind bars.

At Wednesday's court date, Gavin's aunt Stacie Whitlach said the family doesn't want an additional delay but they are resigned to being patient. They are hoping a more in-depth investigation will yield better results.

“Every court date, obviously, it takes a lot out of us, so its hard every time coming to court," Whitlach said, "But we want them to do the investigation the right way.”

Ringer's attorney, David Robbins, says that vehicular homicide investigations do not normally take this long. He believes this may mean the state won't be able to prove its case.

Conroy’s family says no matter how long the delay, they will continue to show up for Gavin. 

“The fact that we still have people coming out to support it means the world to us we want people to come out and show support to Gavin," Whitlach said. "Not just for us but for Gavin. It means a lot.”

Credit: CCSO


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