Florida man who ran away during DUI manslaughter trial captured

Zachery Waldo was captured in Mount Dora

LEESBURG, Fla. – Zachery Waldo, the man who left his DUI manslaughter trial for lunch and didn’t return, was captured on Wednesday by a U.S. Marshal’s task force, according to the Leesburg Police Department.

Police said Waldo was taken into custody in Mount Dora, but no other details of the arrest have been released yet.

In March, Waldo was on trial accused of DUI manslaughter in a 2019 fatal crash in Leesburg that killed three people, including a teen. The Christmas Eve crash killed Christopher Smith, Jessica Smith and their 13-year-old daughter, Hailey.

Police said he went to lunch during the trial and never returned.

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According to police, Waldo, who was out on bond at the time, has fled from law enforcement in the past and has a history of committing battery against law enforcement.

A U.S. Marshal’s task force joined Lake County Sheriff’s Office in the search for Waldo.

Despite being on the run at the time, officials announced last week that Waldo received a life term in the DUI manslaughter case. He was sentenced to 35 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison for the crash

This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for the latest updates.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.