A priest who formerly led St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in The Villages has indicated he intends to represent himself in a case in which he has been charged with driving under the influence.
Edward Martin Waters, 74, best known as “Father Ed,” is due for arraignment on Jan. 3 in Sumter County Court on charges of driving under the influence and driving while license suspended. He remains free on $3,000 bond.
The retired priest was at the wheel of a blue Ford Mustang shortly before 7 p.m. Nov. 27 when dispatch received a call that the vehicle was “driving all over the roadway and only going 20 miles per hour,” according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. A traffic stop was initiated near the entrance to the Village of DeLuna on U.S. 301. Waters identified himself as a priest and said he was trying to get back to his home in Winter Park. Waters provided breath samples that registered .192 and .189 blood alcohol content.
At the time of his arrest, Waters completed a form indicating he would not be relying on the services of a private attorney or the public defender’s office. Waters indicated he intends to represent himself.
In October 2020 in Citrus County, Waters was pulled over when he failed to maintain a single lane. He performed poorly in field sobriety exercises and provided breath samples that registered .207 and .203 blood alcohol content. He was booked at the Citrus County Jail and later lost his driver’s license.
He was driving a black 2021 Ford utility vehicle this past June 27 at U.S. Hwy. 27/441 at County Road 466A when he as cited by the Fruitland Park Police Department for driving while license suspended.
In 2016 under Waters’ leadership, St. Timothy Catholic Church was presented with the prestigious Light of Faith Award by the Orlando Diocese. In 2022, he was transferred to the Diocese of Orlando. Earlier this year, he was featured in a story about a special independent living community for senior priests on the grounds of the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park.