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Woman arrested in crash that killed Delray Beach police officer

Lacy Morris taken into custody in Broward County, faces DUI manslaughter charge

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A woman wanted in connection with a motor scooter crash that killed a Delray Beach police officer who was on vacation in Key West has been arrested, police said.

Lacy Morris, 32, of Sugarloaf Key, was taken into custody in Broward County, Key West Police Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean said Tuesday night.

Police earlier in the day obtained an arrest warrant for Morris, who faces a charge of DUI manslaughter in the death of Officer Christine Braswell.

Braswell and fellow Officer Bernenda Marc were on vacation together and riding a motor scooter April 8 when they were struck by a 2006 Nissan Altima being driven by Morris.

According to a crash report, Morris was driving west on Truman Avenue when she turned into the path of Braswell and Marc, who were traveling east on a Yamaha Zuma.

Officer Jesse Young wrote in his report that Morris' eyes were "extremely red, glassy and bloodshot." Young wrote that he also smelled alcohol on her breath when she spoke.

Morris told Young that she was turning into the parking lot of a nearby Dion's Quick Mart because she and a passenger wanted to get some fried chicken, the report said. Morris claimed that she thought the scooter was speeding but thought it had plenty of time to stop and that it wouldn't crash into her car, Young wrote.

During a search of the car, another officer found "a fresh but barely smoked marijuana cigarette" on the driver's side floorboard, the report said.

Braswell, who joined the Delray Beach Police Department in 2005, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she later died.

Officer Christine Braswell was killed and Officer Bernenda Marc was seriously injured in a motor scooter crash in Key West.
Officer Christine Braswell was killed and Officer Bernenda Marc was seriously injured in a motor scooter crash in Key West.

Marc was treated at Jackson South Community Hospital and later released.

Morris refused to perform a field-sobriety test or submit to a blood sample, so police obtained a search warrant from a judge to have a paramedic draw her blood, the report said.

Police said toxicology reports showed that Morris had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 percent. The state legal limit is 0.08.

Morris' attorney told Local 10 News that he had been in constant contact with authorities in the Florida Keys, but police decided to obtain a warrant before waiting on all the evidence.

"At no point was she going to run," attorney Evan Hoffman said. "She's not a risk of flight. She's not even a danger to anyone at this point."

Hoffman said she was visiting friends and family in Broward County at the time of her arrest.

"I've spoken to her. She's distraught," Hoffman said. "She was distraught when this happened. If you speak to the officers who were there at the scene that night, she was hysterical. This is a horrible situation for everyone involved."

Morris was expected to be transferred from the North Broward Bureau jail in Pompano Beach to a Monroe County jail.

She is being held on a $170,000 bond, but Hoffman said he will be asking a judge to reduce the bond.


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