Tuesday, October 13, 2020
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The Villages

Summerfield DUI suspect claims to be afraid of ‘police killing people’

Justina Marie Copenhaver

A speeding driver on U.S. 301 claimed she was afraid during a traffic stop because of “police killing people.”

Justina Marie Copenhaver, 33, of Summerfield, was driving a vehicle that was caught on radar at 2:45 a.m. Saturday traveling at 106 miles per hour on U.S. 301, just south of the Marion County line, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy was able to catch up to the vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 301 and County Road 466. Copenhaver turned off the vehicle’s headlights and greatly reduced the speed. Copenhaver abruptly pulled over onto the grass.

A deputy asked Copenhaver if she had been drinking. She said she had not.

However, an open 16-ounce can of Busch Light beer was found in the vehicle. There was also a unopened can of beer in the vehicle. Three Alprazolam pills were also found and Copenhaver could not provide a prescription for the medication.

She was invited to participate in field sobriety exercises, however she became “extremely emotionally upset,” the report said. Copenhaver said she “didn’t want to be killed and was afraid due to the police killing people.” She began to cry and made deputies promise they “would not kill her.”

Copehaver, who stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, struggled through field sobriety exercises. She stumbled and deputies could detect the smell of alcohol on her breath.

She was arrested on charges of drug possession and driving under the influence. She was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $3,000 bond.

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