Man accused of killing 8 farmworkers in DUI crash denied bond during first appearance

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A man accused of causing a crash that hurt at least 38 people and killed eight others in Marion County went before a judge for the first time Wednesday morning.


41-year-old Bryan Howard was dressed in an anti-suicide smock and with gauze wrapped around his head for the hearing.

Investigators tell us he side-swiped a bus Tuesday that was bringing 53 migrant workers to a watermelon farm in Marion County.

He’s being charged with 8 counts of DUI manslaughter.

Read: Man driving pickup in Marion bus crash charged with 8 counts of DUI manslaughter

“I do find probable cause for your arrest on all 8 counts,” Marion County Judge LeAnn Mackey-Barnes told Howard Wednesday.

Because of Howard’s past criminal history which includes prior charges for leaving the scene of accidents, driving with a suspended license, grand theft, and this not being the first crash he was involved in this week, the judge ruled in favor of the state to hold Howard on no bond.

Read: Man accused of killing 8 farm workers in DUI crash denied bond during first appearance

“The defendant admitted to law enforcement that he was in a crash three days prior to this, the Assistant State Attorney told the court. “It’s clear he drives with a suspended license.”

If at some point Howard is released, and while the case is pending, the judge ruled he is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle, consume or poses alcohol, or controlled substances.

Howard will be represented by a public defender. He is expected back in court on June 18th at 9 a.m. for arraignment.

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