A former bartender pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to DUI manslaughter, DUI with damage and driving on an invalid license in a 2019 crash in Jacksonville Beach that killed a 22-year-old man and injured the man’s friend.
Joshua Lovingood’s public defender came to a plea agreement with the state. Judge Mark Borello accepting the plea, which comes with a minimum of 10 years and 4 months in prison and a maximum of 15 years behind bars.
Jacksonville Beach police said Lovingood was speeding in a 25-mph zone on July 11, 2019, when he hit two pedestrians walking along 2nd Street North.
Bryn Turner, who was described as a bright and friendly college student, died at the scene. His friend, Julio Gomez, was seriously injured.
On the night of the crash, according to police, Lovingood was working as a bartender at the bar Ruby Beach Brewing in Jacksonville Beach. Police said his blood alcohol level was .228, and an arrest warrant noted he drank “several alcoholic beverages with customers” while at work.
The State Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant and Lovingood turned himself in on the charges in October 2019 in Ohio. Lovingood, 33, has been in jail since then.
Lovingood had two previous DUI arrests and was convicted once. His license was revoked in 2015.
Gomez watched Wednesday’s hearing and told News4Jax: “We are still dealing with the emotional and mental consequences of this individual’s negligence. I am hoping to see the justice system take its course in the rightful way and that an example be made out of him”.
Turner’s parents also watched the hearing but aren’t planning to speak publicly until the sentencing, which is set for June 28.
There’s a civil lawsuit filed against Lovingood and his former employer that’s still pending.