State may have strong case in ex-Longwood commissioner's DUI case

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LONGWOOD, Fla. - WFTV obtained dramatic pictures from the night Longwood police said one of their city commissioners was drinking and driving and then crashed, badly injuring himself and his passenger.

After the crash last November Butch Bundy was stripped of his title, but the former commissioner still claims he's innocent.

Channel 9’s Tim Barber went through the evidence and investigative records show Bundy started drinking early that day, but it’s still unclear how much he drank before investigators said he ran a red light, slammed into a sign and flipped the car.

The 911 call from the crash described how the former commissioner almost slammed into a woman.

“Thank God I was able to miss him because they were speeding past the red light. He swerved and he slipped, and hit the curb and he slipped, and hit the curb and flipped over," the 911 caller said.

Police said Bundy was driving Tom Balmer’s Mustang.

The family friend told detectives the commissioner started drinking that afternoon while they were at a car show at Rachel’s Strip Club, then they drove to Ozone Sports Bar.

“Between the six of us, we may have had, may have, I didn’t keep count, four beers, four pitchers, four buckets,” Balmer said.

WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the evidence gives the state a strong case.

"Although the defendant has pleaded not guilty in this case, if you examine the evidence you may well see a plea bargain in this case as opposed to a trial," Sheaffer said.

Balmer said he left the bar early so he never saw Bundy or their friend Christine Thompson get in the Mustang.

Balmer said he heard the crash.

“I heard a God-awful, like a bomb or cannon went off, then I heard what I thought was three booms. I looked up and the Mustang was on its roof,” he said.

Bundy can be heard moaning in the background of a 911 call that was made after he was thrown from the car.

Detectives also talked to Thompson, who was in the car, but Sheaffer said that interview may not hold much weight in court.

Thompson’s audio interview was taken a couple days after investigators said she and Bundy crashed.

In the hospital Thompson told investigators how Bundy started drinking at the strip club then continued at the sports bar, but said she doesn’t remember what happened next.

Sheaffer said the fact that she was on pain medication at the time may give less weight to what she said.

He still believes detectives did solid work, considering the suspect was a commissioner.

“Although the jury may choose to discount the witness’ statement the investigation was so thorough and the defendant's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. The state has a strong case,” he said.

After the crash the governor stripped Bundy of his title and his hearing is March 4.