TAVARES – Jose Omar Azua, the man responsible for the death of local biker Lori Dudley in August, will finally go to trial to face the charges of vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
After several months of unsuccessful plea negotiations, Azua’s trial is set to begin on February 6 at the Lake County Court House in front of Judge Briggs.
Officers originally spoke with Azua on the night of the incident, however, were forced to release him due to him claiming he was not the driver and no witnesses were able to place him behind the wheel at the time.
While speaking to Azua that night, officers notated that Azua smelled of alcohol and seemed to be intoxicated.
Azua turned himself in at the Leesburg Police Department the following day and admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the fatal crash.
Those that knew Dudley soon became upset after learning that Azua was released on bond the day after his arrest after posting a $35,000 bond.
Since his release, Azua’s case has been continued each month in Lake County court. Attorneys have scheduled plea negotiation hearings but have been unsuccessful.
Azua is now scheduled to begin trial on February 6th to face the homicide charge.
According to court records, the State Attorney’s office recently filed 5 subpoenas on January 5th.
The subpoenas request the presence of witnesses as well as the medical examiner who conducted Dudley’s autopsy.
According to the subpoena, the trial is set to begin at 8:30 am at the Lake County Judicial Center in courtroom 4D.
If found guilty by a jury, Azua could be facing up to 30 years in a state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.