Former judge Ross charged with negligent driving
Published: August 24, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Former V.I. Superior Court Judge Edgar Ross was charged formally with negligent driving and driving under the influence during his arraignment on Friday.
Ross appeared with his attorney, Emile Henderson III, who waived the reading of the criminal complaint against him and entered not guilty pleas to the charges. Henderson requested that a jury trial be held in the case.
Magistrate Miguel Camacho entered the pleas for the record and said the case has been assigned to V.I. Superior Court Judge Douglas Brady, with a calendar call set for 9 a.m. Dec. 13.
The jury trial request by Henderson was granted, and Camacho said a trial date will be determined by Brady at the time of the calendar call.
Ross was arrested just after 8 p.m. Aug. 3 following an automobile accident near Juanita Gardine Elementary School.
Ross had relinquished his drivers license in lieu of bail following his arrest, but it was returned to him at his advice-of-rights hearing.
At that earlier hearing, Magistrate Jessica Gallivan said that according to local law, because Ross blew on the breathalyzer and his blood alcohol content registered at 0.133, his driver's license must be suspended for a period of 90 days, two weeks from then or at the time of his arraignment.
According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Kai Joseph, police responded to a call of a traffic accident near Golden Rock. When they arrived on the scene, officers found the vehicles involved in the accident in the middle of the road.
Joseph said the driver of an sport utility vehicle that was involved told police that she was traveling toward Christiansted when she saw the car in front of her swerve, then she saw another car heading toward her and they collided.
Joseph said that when he went to Ross' vehicle, he could smell the odor of alcohol and Ross' speech was slurred and he told the officer that he was drunk.
Joseph said he asked Ross whether he had been drinking, and Ross said he had one beer and one mixed drink. He told the officer that he was driving along the roadway when he saw the vehicle coming towards him and then crash into him.
Joseph said Ross failed field sobriety tests and later blew a 0.133 on the breathalyzer. The legal limit is 0.08.
The penalties for the charges against Ross include up to a year in prison and a $500 fine on the driving under the influence charge and up to six months in prison and a $200 fine on the negligent driving charge.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.