Florida courts take DUI manslaughter very seriously. The Florida legislature approved a 4-year-minimum “mandatory” sentence on all such charges. DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Florida with the punishment for conviction being up to 15-years in Florida’s prison system. In addition to jail time, there is a mandatory license suspension for life. In many cases of DUI manslaughter, the families of the victim(s) often pressure both the prosecution and the judges to impose maximum sentences.
Q Costa Rica reports on a man who has been on the run for 11 years after a DUI manslaughter conviction in Florida captured by authorities.
46-year-old Henry De la Hoz has been sought internationally since 2008 by U.S. authorities. De la Hoz was convicted of DUI manslaughter in Florida after killing a couple on their way to Easter mass in 2003.
In 2008, De la Hoz pleaded guilty to two charges of DUI manslaughter and other charges. Instead of doing his time, he fled the country.
Costa Rican authorities cannot say for sure how long De la Hoz has been living in the country since he entered Costa Rica illegally. However, they were able to determine that he had been living on the central Pacific Coast, earning a living doing construction work, teaching martial arts, and had recently become a tattoo artist.
Since arriving in Costa Rica, Da la Hoz met a woman and fathered a child, who is now 10-months old.
De la Hoz was arrested by OIJ agents on Wednesday, March 20th. A group of U.S. Marshals arrived in Costa Rica on April 17th to escort De la Hoz back to Miami, where he faces a 12-year prison sentence.