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Suspect indicted for first-degree murder in Hillsborough Deputy's death

Brian LaVigne was one shift away from retirement
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Posted at 10:06 AM, Mar 05, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — A man accused of killing a Hillsborough County deputy in January has been indicted for first-degree murder, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.

Travis Garrett, 28, can now be prosecuted for intentionally killing Deputy Brian LaVigne, 54.

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Garrett is accused of purposely ramming his vehicle into the side of LaVigne's on January 11. LaVigne was freed from his vehicle by the Jaws of Life and taken to Tampa General where he died from his injuries.

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Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said there were no skid marks on the scene that would indicate Garrett tried to stop.

"Mr. Garrett intentionally switches two lanes and goes into the turn lane to strike Cpl. LaVigne's vehicle," said Sheriff Chronister.

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced his plan to seek the first-degree premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer charge on January 22.

“This was a deliberate attack on law enforcement; he targeted a cop. When you commit a crime like this — when you cause pain like this — you should expect consequences like this,” Warren said. “Despite losing a friend, the detectives handling this case are completely focused. They’re doing an incredible job working with our prosecutors to build the strongest possible case.”

After his death, the sheriff's office posthumously promoted LaVigne to the rank of Sergeant to honor his decades-long service to his community.