A judge has postponed the trial of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy, Brandon Hegele. The attorney for Hegele has requested more time to re-interview the lead investigator of the case.
Hegele was charged with reckless driving during a May 2016 high-speed driving segment leading to a crash that left the other driver seriously injured.
The new trial is set to begin Oct. 30.
This is the original story we brought to you regarding the case:
Brandon Hegele, a 13-year veteran of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, is on trial for reckless driving regarding an on-duty incident where he was speeding at 104 mph and crashed leaving a victim seriously injured.
This is not the first time Hegele has been in trouble over vehicle crashes. It is not the second time either. The longtime Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy is facing charges on his third documented crash. But the jury will not be given that information.
Jurors will not know that the Sheriff’s Internal Affairs records show that prior to this latest high-speed, on-duty collision, Hegele received disciplinary actions including a suspension and a reprimand for two other rear-end crashes. One impact resulted in the injury of a civilian.
Why will jurors not have this history? Because Florida law prevents the use of policy violations in order to aid in proving a crime was commited.
In the current case against Hegele, the driver of the rear-ended vehicle is not able to come to court and testify, according to statments given by his sister, Gina Desrouleaux. As a result of his injuries, Harry Deshommes, 61, is now in an assisted living facility.
Desrouleaux says her brother, who was driving a Smart car, is relearning how to walk with assistance and talk and care for himself after spending moths in a hospital, then a rehabilitation facility until April.
Deshommes’ car flipped and landed upright after being struck from behind by the marked Sheriff’s Department vehicle. There were no lights or sirens in use.
That’s when, Desrouleux says, her brother sustained a traumatic brain injury. His other injuries included: broken left arm, fractured skull, broken ribs, broken pelvis, broken back, and irreparable damage to his spleen.
Deputy Hegele was placed on unpaid leave four months after the accident which occurred in the afternoon of May 27, 2016 traffic on Southern Boulevard. He was recorded travelling at rates of speed more than twice the legal limit (50 mph). His county vehicle changed lanes at least nine times throughout the incident. Two supervisors commanded the deputy to “hang back” and not pursue the vehicle Hegele was searching for prior to the tragic crash.
Hegele, 34, is charged with reckless driving causing serious bodily injury. The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Trial is scheduled to begin Monday, August 28.