Former Pinellas deputy found guilty of DUI

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the defendant was convicted of DUI manslaughter. This version has been updated to reflect the correct verdict, guilty of misdemeanor DUI. We regret the error.

BRADENTON (FOX 13) - After testifying in his own defense, and just a few hours of jury deliberation, former Pinellas County Deputy Timothy Vaughan was found guilty of a misdemeanor DUI charge Thursday, but acquitted of a more serious DUI manslaughter charge.

Vaughn is accused of being under the influence when he hit a motorcycle, killing its passenger - a young mother, talented gymnast, and loved daughter was taken.

Two years later, former Deputy Vaughan told jurors in Manatee County his recollection of the crash that killed 20-year-old Ally Marler.

"It was split second. It was right when it happened," Vaughan said. "The last thing I remember once I struck something was that my airbag deployed in my face."

Vaughan was off-duty at the time, heading home from the store.

Marler was a passenger on a motorcycle when troopers say Vaughan hit the bike.

Vaughan: I put it in park and I got out exactly to see what I hit.

Defense attorney: What did you see?

Vaughan: A motorcycle behind my vehicle.

Defense attorney: What else did you see?

Vaughan: A body on the ground.

Vaughan did not deny he was drunk. He told jurors Thursday that he had about 8 beers hours before the crash.

His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Still, he claims the crash wasn't his fault, saying the motorcycle appeared from nowhere.

Florida State Troopers, however, said the motorcycle was in a left turn lane and its brake lights were activated. with its brake lights clearly on.

"I didn't know the accident occurred, but to know that somebody was injured that bad I don't know anybody else would have felt, but remorse," Vaughan said. "I wouldn't do it again, obviously." 

For Ally's family and friends, remorse doesn't take away their pain and loss.

After the crash, Vaughan was fired from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

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