tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Saturday, Mar 24, 2018
  • Home
News Roundup

‘Lysol defense’ fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.

LARGO ó Brock Troutman, freed on bail while he appeals his DUI manslaughter conviction, wasnít drinking when his ankle monitor detected high levels of alcohol last month, his defense attorney said on Monday.

They told the court that Troutman, 35, was actually spraying Lysol when some of the disinfectant fell onto his ankle monitor.

But after a three-hour hearing, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit judge Pat Siracusa didnít buy the Lysol story ó even with the testimony of a forensic alcohol consultant.

He denied Troutmanís motion for a new bond.

"The court can no longer in good conscience leave Mr. Troutman outside of the custody of the court," the judge said.

Troutman will remain in the Pinellas County jail.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa man will be freed while appealing DUI manslaughter conviction

Last March, a jury found him guilty of drunkenly running down a Clearwater Beach tourist who was crossing the street with his daughter in 2015. Siracusa set his bail at $50,000 while his case wound through the appeals process.

But on Jan. 16, Troutman was back to the Pinellas County jail. Court records show his alcohol monitor detected a "confirmed alcohol consumption event" between Jan. 9 and Jan. 10.

During his ruling Monday, Siracusa said that even if the monitor falsely detected alcohol in Troutmanís system, he still violated the condition of his release that orders him not to "use any product containing alcohol."

According to the defense, this is what happened:

On Jan. 9, Troutman was sick at home with a stomach virus and vomiting. His wife, Crysten Troutman, worked from home that day. In the afternoon, they ran some errands. Later, she went out to pick up their kids, ages 1 and 4, from school. Then she cleaned the bathroom and asked her husband to spray Lysol around the house.

"With two small kids," she testified, "I was worried they were going to catch whatever my husband had."

Also taking the stand for the defense was forensic alcohol consultant Matthew Malhiot, who examined the reports generated by Troutmanís monitor. If Troutman had consumed an alcoholic beverage, Malhiot said, it would have been out of his system by midnight.

Instead, the ethanol readings continued until the next morning.

The state called its own witnesses, including Lisa Kennedy, a business development manager for SCRAM, the company that manufactures the ankle monitor worn by Troutman. The monitor, she testified, takes a sample of the wearerís perspiration every 30 minutes to check for alcohol.

There was nothing unusual, she said, that would point to the monitor being triggered by anything other than alcohol consumption.

The DUI manslaughter case dates back to March 13, 2015.

Ricardo Moreno, 57, a clinical psychologist and father of two from St. Louis, was vacationing in Clearwater Beach with his 20-year-old daughter. They were headed to their hotel after 5 p.m. when they crossed the 600 block of Gulfview Boulevard using the crosswalk.

Thatís when police said Troutman, driving a Ford pickup, barreled into the father. Morenoís daughter, Kara, was not hurt. Moreno died at the hospital.

Troutman was charged with DUI manslaughter. Tests revealed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.107 at the time, police said. State law presumes a driver impaired at 0.08 or greater.

After a jury convicted him on March 2, sentencing guidelines calculated he faced 10 years in prison. But during his sentencing hearing, dozens of his loved ones vouched for Troutmanís character.

Siracusa sentenced him to five years in prison and 10 years of probation.

The same week, Troutmanís lawyer asked the judge to release his client while they appealed the conviction.

Troutman is challenging how the police obtained his blood sample. In court records, defense attorney Frank Louderback argued that Troutman did not voluntarily consent to a blood draw. Troutman, he said, was not free to leave the scene because officers had his driverís license.

Prosecutors are also appealing Troutmanís sentence because they believe the judge should not have given him a lighter sentence than what the guidelines called for.

Siracusa granted Louderbackís request and set bail at $50,000. Troutman was released on April 20.

Morenoís wife, Christine, sent a scathing letter to the judge on April 26. In it, she wrote that Troutmanís apology was "completely insincere, and we can see right through that."

"In regards to his sentence, that is also offensive. Five years for killing someone?" the letter read. "How do you justify that to my daughter, Kara, who has to live with this every day for the rest of her life?"

Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] Follow @lauracmorel.

Weather Center


ĎLysol defenseí fails. Alcohol violation keeps man convicted of DUI manslaughter in jail.