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Woman charged with death of Charlotte County deputy has previous DUI arrests

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Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 06:39:17-05

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — The woman charged with DUI Manslaughter for the death of a 23-year-old Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy has a history of DUI related arrests in Florida.

Records obtained by Fox 4 Investigates show 30-year-old Cassandra Smith from Lakeville, Massachusetts plead guilty to DUI and Reckless Driving in Palm Beach County, FL last year.

Smith was ordered to pay a $250 fine, complete DUI school and 75 hours of community service.

Records also show she was prohibited from drinking alcohol for 12 months, that stipulation ended on August 31st of this year.

Smith was arrested in Charlotte County overnight after investigators say she lost control of her Jeep SUV while driving north on I-75 and entered the northbound paved shoulder, where the deputy and a third vehicle were engaged in a traffic stop.

According to Florida Highway Patrol the Jeep hit the back of the unoccupied deputy’s vehicle, which then hit the deputy and the third vehicle.

Sheriff Bill Prummell says the deputy was taken to Shorepoint Health in Punta Gorda and later died from their injuries.

In April of last year, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputies wrote in the arrest report that Smith was reportedly “driving all over the roadway, accelerating and stopping multiple times, and running vehicles off the roadway.”

The arresting deputy says Smith failed to stay in her lane and “would sporadically accelerate between the approximate speeds of 80 M.P.H. and 95 M.P.H. almost striking another vehicle in the process.”

Smith, who turned 30 on Sunday, was unable to stand, had slurred speech and had difficulty understanding instructions, according to the arrest report.

During the field sobriety test, investigators wrote that Smith lost her balance and almost fell to the ground multiple times.

Smith was also unable to complete the alphabet when asked.

“During the task, (Smith) swayed heavily, opened her eyes, stopped and looked at me and then began again,” the arrest report states.

“When she reached the letter N, she opened her eyes” and cursed, the investigator wrote in the report.

Smith also refused to submit to a breath test.

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