Wakulla County, FL - The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 37-year-old Eglin Air Force Base woman and charged her with neglect of a child without great harm in connection with a domestic investigation on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10:35 p.m., according to Sheriff David Harvey.
Stephanie Michelle Exline was charged after Sgt. Ronald Mitchell discovered a 13-year-old juvenile sitting by herself in the back of Exline’s vehicle at Dux Liquor Store and Lounge in Crawfordville.
Captain Steve Ganey was investigating a disturbance call earlier during the evening that was connected to the child case investigation. Sgt. Mitchell was looking for a person of interest in the disturbance call when he discovered the juvenile in the vehicle.
Sgt. Mitchell interviewed the juvenile who said her mother was inside the lounge. Law enforcement officials waited more than 20 minutes for the mother to return to the vehicle before they went back to it and discovered the child had fallen asleep.
Deputy Nick Gray, Captain Ganey and Deputy Billy Metcalf went inside the lounge and escorted the mother to the vehicle where she was charged. Sgt. Mitchell observed an open case of beer inside the vehicle and detected an odor of alcohol on the juvenile. She admitted to drinking a beer which made her sleepy. Exline was transported to the Wakulla County Jail without incident.
A few hours later, at 1:51 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, Deputy Nick Gray was in the Dux Lounge parking lot when he observed a patron back his truck into another truck in the lot. Deputy Gray conducted a DUI investigation and charged Joshua Herbert Mathis, 31, of Crawfordville with driving under the influence of alcohol. The suspect refused to participate in field sobriety exercises and was taken to the Wakulla County Jail by Deputy Will Hudson. It was determined that the arrest was Mathis’ fourth for DUI. Mathis refused to submit a breath test sample and also faces a misdemeanor charge as a result.