A Gulfport man accused of felony battery on a law enforcement officer will not get into a pre-trial diversion program.
Prosecutors have rejected Jesse Lee’s bid to avoid jail time. Lee is accused of throwing and striking a police officer with a CD.
Depositions of Gulfport police officers are now scheduled for Feb. 14, and a new pre-trial hearing is set for March 7 for Lee. Lee, 38, allegedly struck a GPD officer with a compact disk in front of Gulfport City Hall in July 2021.
Lee has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Rick Fletcher, tried to take the case to a pre-trial intervention program similar to probation.
Florida’a pre-trial intervention, or PTI, shifts some criminal cases from traditional trials, convictions, and jail time to an alternative resolution path. The program allows some defendants to avoid permanent criminal records or jail time, and arrests may be expunged.
However, to qualify, the presiding judge, prosecutors, and alleged crime victims must all agree to the PTI path. In January, prosecutors in Lee’s case told The Gabber they would agree to a PTI path for Lee.
Fletcher informed Pinellas Circuit Court Judge William Burgess of the PTI denial during a Jan. 31 hearing.
The case will continue along a conventional path.
Fletcher will conduct depositions Feb. 14 of GPD officers Brandon Dillard and Ken McIntyre. Burgess also set a new pre-trial hearing in the case for March 7.
Allegedly, Lee threw the CD when he grew upset that it didn’t work. The CD struck an officer, and Lee now faces felony battery on a law enforcement officer.