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Richard Anderson plea negotiation, possible sentencing in hit-and-run case set for August

A plea negotiation conference and possible sentencing for lobbyist and former Apopka city official Richard D. Anderson have been set for early August in the hit-and-run driving case he faces in Lake County.

Anderson, 62, of Apopka, is out on bond after being arrested in late May in connection with a hit-and-run vehicle crash April 5 that sent another driver to the hospital.

He faces multiple charges, including reckless driving causing serious bodily injury, hit-and-run causing serious bodily injury, and tampering with evidence in the case, all third-degree felonies. He turned himself in May 31 after an investigation led the Florida Highway Patrol to seek an arrest warrant for him.

Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Lawrence J. Semento has scheduled an Aug. 3 private plea negotiation conference in the Lake County Courthouse in Tavares for Anderson’s attorney Kendell Ali of Orlando and Assistant State Attorney Emily Curington, and a felony sentencing hearing for Aug. 11.

Anderson is a former city administrator for Apopka who was working on a two-year, $22,000-per-month consultant contract with that city, as well as serving as city manager for the city of Belle Isle.

The crash occurred in the early morning April 5, on State Road 46 near Sorrento. According to the Highway Patrol, shortly before 1:30 a.m. a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck crossed into the opposite lane and slammed head-on into a Toyota Corolla driven by a Michael Falcon of Grand Island. Falcon suffered debilitating injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.

Passers-by quickly stopped and later told the highway patrol they encountered Falcon laying on the ground and another man talking on a cellphone, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by the investigating officer, FHP Trooper Joshua Evans. The second man had left before the Highway Patrol arrived. Two of the passers-by later identified Anderson, the owner of the abandoned truck, from photo lineups, according to the arrest warrant affidavit filed by Evans.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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