Local News

Jeff Carlson’s trial off; more depositions allowed

VERO BEACH - Jeff Carlson’s trial has been continued again. Although the former Highlands County commissioner’s trial for boating manslaughter was scheduled at 9 a.m. April 8, Judge Robert Pegg did not conduct an evidentiary hearing. Instead, the judge accepted another motion to continue the case until July 25. Also, more depositions have been scheduled, records at Indian River Clerk of Courts office show. One of the issues is that Carlson's attorney, Kirk Kirkconnell, died last year and has been replaced by his partner, Michael Snure.
Witnesses told Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators Carlson had been drinking the night of July 24, 2010, before his 22-foot boat crashed into a channel marker near Capt. Hiram's Restaurant in Sebastian. His wife, Julie, 38, was killed. Carlson registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.076 percent, just under Florida's minimum impairment level of 0.08. However, his blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was probably between 0.11 and 0.15, according to Laura Barfield, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement toxicologist. Pegg has previously denied Carlson's request to suppress evidence. Carlson, of Sebring, contended that investigators had illegally taken bottles of alcohol from the boat.


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