Lakewood Ranch defense attorney Terra Carroll has been found incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges she is facing in the Florida Panhandle after police said she led them on a high-speed chase and was later found to be in possession of drugs, including a jar of bath salts.
A judge ordered Carroll to be sent to a mental institution, according to court records.
Carroll was arrested Sept. 10 after leading deputies with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and later Gulf Breeze police officers on a high-speed pursuit. She has remained in custody at the Santa Rosa County jail since.
Last month, Circuit Judge Ross Goodman in Santa Rosa County ordered that Carroll undergo a competency evaluation, at the request of the State Attorney’s Office.
On Oct. 14, Carroll appeared before Goodman, and the judge ordered Carroll to a Florida state hospital and revoked her bonds after receiving reports from two doctors who found her incompetent because of mental illness, according to the court order. Carroll was committed to the custody of the Department and Children and Families.
Carroll was found incompetent to proceed with hearings and other proceedings in which mental competency is required.
Doctors ordered to complete the evaluation had been tasked with first determining if Carroll was competent to stand trial, and then if found incompetent whether she should be involuntarily committed to a hospital. The doctors were explicitly ordered not to determine Carroll’s sanity at the time of her alleged offenses.
Carroll’s criminal case will remain open, and she cannot be released from the mental institution without further order of the court.
Initially, 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.
Earlier this month, the State Attorney’s Office formally filed charges in the case, only charging her with fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement in agency vehicle with siren and lights activated at high speed and resisting an officer without violence. Carroll’s next scheduled court appearance is 9 a.m. Jan. 24.