Judge rules woman accused in crash that killed deputy to remain in jail

Cassandra Smith has history of DUI arrests, including 1 in Palm Beach County
cassandra smith zoom court appearance
Posted at 4:41 PM, Nov 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 16:42:36-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Cassandra Smith, the woman accused in the drunken driving-related death of a 23-year-old Charlotte County deputy, made her first appearance in court Thanksgiving morning.

Smith, 30, faces six charges, according to the Charlotte County court docket, including driving under the influence involving death.

A judge ruled Smith is "a danger to society" and granted prosecutors' motion to keep Smith in pre-trial detention without bond.


Smith is accused in the Tuesday night crash that killed Deputy Christopher Taylor.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Smith's vehicle drifted off Interstate 75 and hit Taylor's patrol car, which he was standing outside of while performing a traffic stop.

A Fox 4 investigation revealed Smith has a history of DUI arrests. One, out of Palm Beach County, resulted in a court order prohibiting her from drinking alcohol for 12 months — a stipulation that expired Aug. 31.

Prosecutors on Thursday also pointed out that Smith's license had expired three days prior to the crash.


Taylor had only been on the job since February.

"Chris may have been an only child, but our countless brothers and sisters — many right here in the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office — will mourn him," said Sheriff Bill Prummell, echoing the sentiments of many surrounding law enforcement agencies across the state.

Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 3 at 9 a.m.