A heated argument in court between a Seminole County, Florida, judge and a prosecutor over a drunk driving case was captured on courtroom video and has now been released to the public.
The video of the argument, embedded below, was recorded on March 11 between Judge Frederic Schott and Assistant State Attorney Diana Miers. WFTV obtained the footage.
Following a guilty verdict of driving under the influence for the female defendant, Judge Schott and the attorneys began discussing the woman’s license suspension.
The accused was not administered a breathalyzer test because the arresting officer said no one from the Sheriff’s Department was available to do so. This made the judge question the officer’s testimony because he had noted that she was “driving with an unlawful blood or breath alcohol level.”
The notation caused the woman’s license to be revoked for six months.
“But you did not know what her blood or breath alcohol was at all, did you?” the officer was asked in court.
“That’s correct,” he responded.
The Sheriff’s office rebuked the officer’s claim that there was no one available to administer a breathalyzer test, stating there is always someone on-call.
According to a body camera video, the officer did request another officer to perform the blood alcohol test, and was told it would be a three-hour wait.
The accused claims she was not driving under the influence.
Judge Schott berated Miers over the entire case and he eventually overturned the verdict after a heated war of words, because he wanted the police officer to be charged with lying.
"Are you going to nolle pros that case?" Judge Schott asked. "Or am I going to get mad at you today?"
"He admitted it was a mistake, your honor," Miers said.
Judge Schott then decided to reverse the jury’s decision to "not guilty."
"This whole case was fishy," Schott said.
Miers did not agree with Schott’s decision to dismiss the case and tried to argue her side. Schott did not agree.
"This is again evidence, direct evidence, and not circumstantial evidence," Miers said.
As a result of the incident, Judge Schott will only preside over civil cases going forward.
The verdict will be appealed against by the state prosecutor’s office.