Woman gets second chance at bond after deadly Charlotte County DUI crash - 96.9 WINK FM

Woman gets second chance at bond after deadly Charlotte County DUI crash



Cassandra Smith, accused of killing Charlotte County Deputy Christopher Taylor in a November DUI crash, is asking a judge for a second shot after being denied bond.

Judge Geoffrey Gentile denied Smith bond because the November DUI arrest was not the first time law enforcement said she was caught drinking and driving. An attorney who looked over the case—Lance Dunford of the Scott T. Moorey law firm—says the judge overseeing Friday’s hearing will either issue a bond or keep Smith in the same status she is in right now. Gentile ordered her to stay behind bars, feeling she could be a danger to the community.

In the video from her prior DUI arrest in Palm Beach, the 30-year-old woman can be heard slurring her words and can be seen failing sobriety tests, unable to stand on one leg or recite the alphabet.

“That’s the thing; I need to protect the community,” said Gentile. “I find that the bond… or even the scramblers, that those things don’t do… nothing blows up and stop somebody from getting a car after they’ve drank, and driving fast. So, I can’t protect the community. And she’s shown twice that needs to happen in very short order. Twice in two years.”

Gentile will not be the judge overseeing Friday’s hearing; Judge Scott Cupp will be in court, and Smith’s attorney will get another chance to convince the judge that she is not a danger to the community nor a flight risk. He plans to bring some more factors in front of the court.

Cassandra Smith attempts to follow a light with her eyes without moving her head during a field sobriety test in April 2021. Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

“We are all presumed innocent until a jury of our peers says otherwise, or, in fact, somebody pleas, and that’s the same thing for Ms. Smith right now,” Dunford said. “That, I would imagine, is going to be a crux of Mr. Cantor’s arguments as to why the judge should consider giving her an opportunity to be out.”

Dunford acknowledges that Smith’s defense has a challenging task.

“It’s been highly publicized that she doesn’t have a local address; the address that she provided, it sounds like it’s from Massachusetts,” Dunford said. “It would be on the defense attorney and Ms. Smith to be able to show the judge that she is not a flight risk; any court dates or motions or requirements that the judge puts in place, she can adhere to those.”

Cassandra Smith’s bond hearing is at the Charlotte County Courthouse at 11:30 a.m. WINK News will be present to see if she is granted bond.


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