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Skyway DUI suspect ruled incompetent for trial

Kristen Kay Watts is accused of driving her vehicle intoxicated through several roadblocks...
Kristen Kay Watts is accused of driving her vehicle intoxicated through several roadblocks before hitting a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.(Florida Highway Patrol via WWSB)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:02 AM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The Sarasota woman accused of seriously injuring a Florida Highway Patrol trooper in an alleged DUI crash on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been found incompetent to stand trial.

In a hearing Wednesday in Manatee County Court, Circuit Court Judge Lon Arend reviewed findings by a court-appointed psychiatrist and ruled Kristen Kay Watts is unable to proceed with hearings or enter a plea, court documents show.

Arend ordered Watts committed to a mental health treatment facility until she is deemed able to proceed. No details of the psychologist’s findings were released.

In March, troopers say Kristen Kay Watts drove through barricades set for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge 10K, heading toward the race route. Trooper Toni Schuck put her patrol SUV into Watts’ path, authorities said, to protect racers. They collided head-on. Troopers say they could smell the odor of alcohol on Watts’ breath.

The police report said Watts was only able to participate in one sobriety exercise and showed obvious signs of impairment around her eyes.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a blood sample was taken from Watts at 11:07 a.m. Hospital staff told investigators the test indicated Watts’ blood alcohol level was 0.271. The legal limit for drivers in Florida is 0.08.

At 2:31 p.m., Watts provided a breath sample, and the sample that was analyzed at .094. A second sample was provided at 2:34 p.m., which registered .090. These samples were collected approximately six hours after the collision.

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