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Man Who Fled After DUI Conviction Captured 12 Years Later in Israel

Lawrence Seth Wayne was sentenced to 19 years for killing Donald Cantwell after being convicted of driving drunk in 1998. Before going to prison, Wayne, a Boca Raton resident, disappeared. Some who knew him thought he killed himself. Others thought he assumed a new identity and moved to another part of the country.

On Sunday, Feb. 20, Israeli authorities working with the FBI arrested Wayne near Tel Aviv. Wayne now faces the original DUI sentence and an additional federal count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

For more than a decade, U.S. authorities searched for him and he was even featured on the America’s Most Wanted. Wayne, who had two previous DUI convictions, fled to Israel under the alias Jason Adam Weisman. He became an Israeli citizen in 2000.

After celebrating a friend’s birthday on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach the night of Feb. 19, 1998, Wayne drove down Interstate 95 between 80 and 100 mph, nearly hitting several cars before slamming into the back of Cantwell’s pickup. Cantwell was not wearing a seat belt. He was thrown from his vehicle after it rolled several times after impact. He died that afternoon.

Witnesses said Wayne stepped out of his car after the accident, closed his car’s hood, which had popped open on impact, got back in the car and drove off. One witness followed him and called police. When questioned, Wayne denied knowing about the crash.

“I am an alcoholic,” Wayne told Circuit Judge Howard Berman at the sentencing. Judge Berman said Wayne’s previous DUI convictions could not be ignored. “You’ve had your second chance, Mr. Wayne” Judge Berman said. “And you blew it.”

Wayne left jail after posting $50,000 bond and being fitted with an ankle monitor. He was supposed to start his sentence on June 16, 1999.

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