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Friday, May 7, 2021

Prosecutor alleges attorney has conflict in Villager’s DUI arrest in golf cart crash

The prosecutor’s office has accused an attorney of a conflict of interest in representing a Villager charged with drunk driving in a golf cart crash as well as a man who was a passenger in the golf cart and seriously injured.

Roger Stokes, 72, of the Village of Virginia Trace, was riding in the golf cart on the night of Feb. 25 when he and his live-in lady friend, 72-year-old Cynthia Jaudon, were returning from a night at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Villagers Roger Stokes and Cynthia Jaudon in the golf cart.

Cynthia Jaudon

Jaudon was at the wheel of the white Yamaha golf cart when she crashed into a tunnel wall in the area of County Road 466A and Morse Boulevard, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. When deputies arrived on the scene at 10:37 p.m., EMS personnel were already treating Stokes who was “lying on the golf cart roadway, just outside the tunnel,” the report said. Jaudon said Stokes had been thrown from the golf cart when it crashed into the tunnel wall.

He was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center as a trauma patient. She was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.

Assistant State Attorney Joseph Church is seeking a copy of Stokes’ medical records from the hospital, as he builds his case against Jaudon.

Gail Grossman
Gail Grossman

However, attorney Gail Grossman, a Villager representing Jaudon, filed a motion to quash Church’s subpoena for the medical records. Grossman filed the motion on behalf of Stokes.

“This presents a clear conflict of interest for the defendant and the victim under Section 16 of the Florida Constitution and prevents defense counsel from giving proper advice to either of them as the best course of action to take,” Church wrote in a motion to determine conflict, on file with the Sumter County Court.

“Because of this conflict, counsel cannot continue in representation of both the victim and the defendant and based on communications she would have received from each, she is likely unable to represent either of them,” he wrote.

Jaudon was originally charged with a felony in the case, but it was later reduced to a misdemeanor. The prosecutor’s office wants to see the charge reinstated as a felony.

A hearing on the motion is set for June 29 before Judge Paul Militello in Sumter County Court.

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