The woman accused of killing a young deputy on the interstate in Charlotte County while drunk is having her competency to stand trial brought into question.
Cassandra Smith was not in the Charlotte County courtroom on Thursday as a judge agreed to a request to evaluate Smith.
Smith’s lawyer wanted a judge to order a psychiatric evaluation. He argued Smith’s mental state deteriorated so much he could no longer communicate with her, and that’s not all. The attorney said Smith’s declining physically too.
Smith was not in court, but the family of the Charlotte County deputy she’s accused of killing, Christopher Taylor, was.
Family members put their hands on Taylor’s father’s back as he clutched onto a coin that bears a picture of his son in uniform.
Taylor’s grandfather, Rich Taylor, said the competency argument is just a trick. He wants Smith behind bars for life.
“Her attorney is trying to get her on have an easy way, you know, that’s the only way he can get her off. Because once it goes to a jury, while you’re you know what’s going to happen, they’re gonna find her guilty,” said Rich Taylor. “I can see her life and in jail. And just think what she did. Because if she gets a life sentence, she can think about that, or she just gets like 15 years or something like that. She’s gonna go out, do that again. It’s a proven fact.”
Crash investigators say Smith was drunk when she crossed several lanes of 75 north near the Punta Gorda/Arcadia exit and hit Deputy Taylor as he was conducting a traffic stop.