A Lakewood Ranch defense attorney facing criminal charges in the Florida Panhandle after police say she led them in a chase and was later found in possession of drugs — including a jar of bath salts — has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.
Terra Carroll was arrested at about 1:35 p.m. Sept. 10 after she led deputies with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and later Gulf Breeze police officers on a high-speed pursuit.
Carroll was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, fleeing law enforcement at high speed, resisting an officer without violence, aggravated fleeing law enforcement with injury or damage, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery on law enforcement and resisting an officer with violence. She remains in custody at the Santa Rosa County jail on bonds totaling $110,000.
The sheriff’s office had received a complaint just after 1 p.m. about a reckless driver in a white Jeep traveling westbound on U.S. 98 in Navarre at the intersection with Edgewood Drive. Deputies said it was reported that the vehicle was passing on the right hand side, in the grass, and in right-turn lanes.
Never miss a local story.
On Friday, Carroll appeared before Circuit Judge Ross Goodman in Santa Rosa County as the State Attorney’s Office requested that Carroll be evaluated for competency, court records reveal. Goodman ordered the evaluation and appointed a Pensacola doctor to conduct that evaluation.
The doctor will first determine if Carroll is competent to stand trial, according to the court order.
If Carroll is found incompetent to stand trial, the doctor would be ordered to determine if she should be involuntarily committed to a hospital. The order also explicitly states that the doctor shall not make any determinations on Carroll’s sanity at the time of the alleged offenses.
The appointed doctor has until 1:30 p.m. Friday to complete the evaluation and submit a copy of the report to Carroll and the State Attorney’s Office.
Carroll has no other scheduled court proceedings until her competency has been determined.
After Carroll’s arrest, her 2008 white Jeep Compass was seized and searched by Gulf Breeze police officers. They found a Sleep Easy bath salts jar, green flakes, a glass jar with 6.4 ounces of white powder, a U.S. passport, $69 and green tea vitamin extract, according to an offense report.
Incident reports from the Gulf Breeze Police Department obtained by the Bradenton Herald shed additional light on Carroll’s arrest.
The pursuit had traveled into Gulf Breeze city limits when officers joined. Carroll drove in excess of 75 mph in a 35 mph zone, ran a red light, crossed a median in front of Gulf Breeze Middle School and began to head west in the eastbound lanes, one officer’s report states.
The chase ended when Carroll crashed.
The arresting officer drew his weapon, pointing at the driver’s seat as he approached the Jeep, with other officers backing him, and spotted Carroll and her dog. Carroll was told to unlock the door and put her hands on the steering wheel but she failed to comply, according to the report.
Carroll told officers, “I have a gun” after they broke her passenger side window and again ordered her to point her hands in the air.
Another officer stated in his supplemental report that she next shouted, “I don’t have a gun.” That officer said he could see Carroll’s hands on her lap but could not see what was underneath them, so he was fearful that she had a gun in between her thighs.
“Once I determined Carroll was not going to comply and she was covered by both lethal and non lethal fires, I moved over to the driver’s side of the vehicle where I broke the window out with my ASP (baton),” the officer wrote in his report. “I reached in, unlocked the door and pulled Carroll from the driver’s seat grasping her left wrist.”
The officer used a straight-arm down with a forward leg sweep maneuver to remove her from the car and take her to the ground, but not before she was able to put the Jeep in reverse. The Jeep began to roll back, and Carroll went under the driver’s door but a deputy was able to grab her.
Another officer was able to put the Jeep in park and shut off the engine. Carroll was then taken into custody.