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Trial for Manatee commissioner's DUI charge to be held in February

Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Erika Quartermaine set the trial schedule during a pretrial hearing Nov. 8.

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Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Erika Quartermaine has picked the week of Feb. 6 to hear the state attorney's case against Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse for driving under the influence.

At a Nov. 8 pretrial conference, Quartermaine said she wouldn't select the exact date for the trial until the "Thursday or Friday" before that Feb. 6 trial week.

On June 22, the State Attorney's Office filed one count of driving under the influence against Kruse involving an April 20 one-car crash on GreyHawk Boulevard in East County. Kruse has entered a plea of not guilty.

Read more: Florida State Attorney's Office files DUI charge against Manatee commissioner

Assistant State Attorney Darlene Ragoonanan, who will prosecute the case, said she expected approximately 10 witnesses will be called at the trial from a list of 24 possible witnesses, which includes Political Consultant Anthony Pedicini and developer Carlos Beruff.

Sarasota Attorney Jeffrey Haynes is representing Kruse. 

Jacqueline Steele, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge originally assigned to the case, recused herself on July 14. Originally scheduled for Aug. 2, the pretrial conference was postponed to Aug. 16, then Oct. 11 and finally Nov. 8.

The latest continuance was requested by Haynes, who said the case involved a large amount of discovery for a first-offense DUI charge and that he had not yet had a chance to review all evidence.


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