Monday, November 19, 2012

Arresting Officer in DUI Incident Arrested for Contempt of Court

Florida Highway Patrol trooper John Costa, 41, was ordered thrown in jail this week after his failure to appear at a DUI trial forced the judge to dismiss the defendant’s case.

Judge Belle Schumann sentenced Costa to five days in jail and a $500.00 fine for contempt of court for failing to appear for a DUI trial in Volusia County on October 30. The judge made the contempt finding after the trooper, who was aware of his subpoena, did not appear in court and would neither answer phone calls nor respond to personal summons at his house by court liasons. Said Schumann, “The essential facts constituting the criminal contempt charged are that Trooper Costa was a critical state witness in this case, under valid subpoena for trial, with actual and constructive knowledge that the trial was supposed to take place on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012, and yet willfully refused to comply with the subpoena. Dangerous and guilty people go free if law enforcement officers willfully ignore their subpoenas.”

Trooper Costa arrested Stephanie Halcomb, the defendant in the case, on December 3, 2011 for DUI. After being stopped for driving over 90 mph on I-4, Halcomb failed the field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol level of 0.192. It was also her second DUI/DWI charge in two years. She has been cleared of her charges on account of the failure of her arresting officer to appear at her trial.