Lacy Morris has been charged with DUI Manslaughter, DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury, DUI causing property damage and Possession of Marijuana in the death of a Delray Beach police officer who was on vacation in Key West. Police drew Morris’ blood and testing revealed a blood alcohol that was more than twice the legal limit. Police also found marijuana in her car.
Morris is facing a lengthy prison sentence. DUI Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in prison if convicted. A separate sentencing statute will require an even hire minimum sentence be imposed (likely more than 10 years).
These cases are incredibly difficult to defend when the victim isn’t a police officer. But having an officer as the victim will make things even harder for Ms. Morris. Not many people will have much sympathy for a defendant with prior drug arrestswho is alleged to have killed a cop, least of all the prosecutor who filed the case and the judge who hears it. Her attorney will need to spend a lot of time investigating her life in the hopes of presenting a compelling story of mitigation. Perhaps there will be some holes in the state’s case and that obviously needs to be thoroughly investigated as well. But her lawyer needs to be ready for sentencing just in case.
In the news, we will hear mostly about how brave and honorable the officer was before her death and how terrible Ms. Morris was. Hopefully, the judge and jury won’t decide her fate before they hear the entire story. Everyone has a story to tell. I’ll be interested to hear hers.