This afternoon Michel Brutus, 25, was sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by 8 years of
probation after pleading guilty this morning to one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash
Involving Death in Charlotte County. Two people died in the crash. As part of the terms of his
probation, Brutus must pay restitution to the families to pay for the funerals of the victims. He
also has a lifetime driver’s license revocation.
The crime happened in December 2016 when the defendant was driving a car with two
passengers on U.S. 41. The car went off the shoulder of the road into a ditch, hitting a road sign
and a tree. The car went airborne and both passengers died on scene. A female was still in her
seatbelt in the passenger seat and a male was ejected from the car and laying in the parking lot.
The defendant fled the scene right after the crash.
Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash to determine who was driving. At first law
enforcement on scene believed one of the deceased victims was the driver since Brutus had fled.
FHP Sergeant Derek Daniels led the investigation working with the prosecutors on the case.
After reviewing the scene and examining the evidence it was apparent the driver’s side seatbelt
had been in use. DNA from the driver’s side airbag connected Brutus to being the driver of the
car at the time of the crash.
Assistant State Attorney Martin Stark of our Homicide Unit and Assistant State Attorney Caitlin
Sorenson handled the case.
State Attorney’s Office