Man found guilty in Manatee County of 13th DUI; 14th DUI looms

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 3, 2014 


MANATEE -- A Tennessee man was found guilty Wednesday of his 13th DUI and will now have his license permanently revoked.

Bob Ray Towry also faces up to 21 years in prison.

After deliberating about 45 minutes, a jury found Towry guilty of driving under the influence on a fourth or subsequent offense, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence.

"I don't think he is going to learn his lesson, but at least we got him off the streets," Assistant State Attorney Ashley Dusnik said.

Towry was arrested July 15, 2006, by the Holmes Beach Police Department, however, he failed to appear at a hearing April 10, 2007, according to court documents.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

At the time of his arrest, Towry was working as a foreman on a construction project.

Last December, Towry was arrested in his native Tennessee for a 14th DUI offense. He was extradited to Manatee County on Dec. 7.

On Dec. 13, Towry wrote a letter to Judge Edward Nicholas apologizing for missing his court date in 2007.

"I made a mistake and received a DUI," Towry wrote. "It was first offense when I left. Then it moved up to 4th offense."

His third offense in Florida, he claimed was 13 years prior.

"In Tennessee the DUIs are no longer held against you after 10 years," Towry added.

Towry wrote he has a decent job as a general foreman and usually helps build hospital and prisons.

Towry was also charged with refusing to submit to testing and pleaded no contest.

Now Towry faces a lengthy prison sentence although there is no minimum mandatory jail term under Florida law.

"In Tennessee and Georgia, they don't have a law where a fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony," Dusnik said. "It's important to note, all the prior DUIs were misdemeanors so the most he has ever been sentenced to jail has been one year."

A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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