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Man finally sentenced for deadly wrong-way crash in 2012

Christopher Ponce hid in Spain for 3 years
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 19:30:55-05

A Hillsborough County man has finally been sentenced for a deadly wrong-way crash in 2012 after hiding in Spain for three years.

27-year-old Christopher Ponce has been sentenced to 15 years in prison to go along with a decade of probation once he is released. 

Ponce pleaded guilty in the DUI Manslaughter case from July, 2012 on Friday. Deputies said that Ponce drove the wrong way down I-275 while he was drunk and hit a car head-on killing 20-year-old William Angel and severely injuring two others.

While Ponce was on house arrest, waiting for trial in 2013, he cut his ankle monitor and fled the country. He spent three years in Spain before he was captured and extradited back to the United States.

RELATED: Impaired Florida wrong-way driving suspect, Christopher Ponce, extradited to Tampa stays in jail

Ponce initially gave a No Contest plea, which neither confirms or denies allegations, but accepts punishment. After listening to victim impact statements, he changed his plea to Guilty, against the advice of his attorney. The guilty plea could potentially open him up to additional civil ramifications.

Ponce is also prohibited from getting a driver’s license for life.

Ponce could get out of prison in as soon as 2 1/2 years because of time served. The minimum mandatory in his sentence is set at 4 years.