ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Pinellas County Sheriff's Detective has been arrested and charged with DUI.
- Sheriff's Office: Off-duty detective showed up drunk to homicide scene
- Detective George D. Moffett Jr. arrested, charged with DUI
- Moffett fired from his detective job
- More Pinellas County news
According to authorities, George D. Moffett Jr., 48, was arrested Thursday at 10:30 p.m. after showing up to a homicide scene drunk.
Deputies observed Moffett arrive at a shooting at 10610 Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg. A Riverview resident and 11-year sheriff's office employee, Moffett was off duty when he showed up at the scene in an unmarked sheriff's office vehicle.
Deputies said Moffett appeared under the influence of alcohol, adding he had bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech, and a distinct odor of alcohol.
Because Moffett appeared impaired, deputies began a DUI investigation and Moffett admitted that he had consumed several alcoholic beverages before responding to the homicide scene, deputies said.
Moffett agreed to a field sobriety tests and he performed poorly. A breath sample indicated he was well above the legal limit, authorities said.
Moffett was arrested and charged with one count of DUI. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Consistent with sheriff's office policy regarding members arrested for DUI, Moffett's employment was immediately terminated following his arrest, officials said.
George D. Moffett Jr. (Courtesy of Pinellas County Jail)
Michael Drejka case connection
Moffett's firing may have an adverse effect on the case against accused shooter Michael Drejka.
It was Moffett who responded to the controversial shooting last year which resulted in the death of Markeis McGlockton and was initially dealt with as a "stand-your-ground" case.
Drejka's attorney, John Trevena, says he's counting Moffett's arrest as a win for his client's defense and a blow to prosecutors.
"It’s a huge boost for us. We couldn’t possibly ask for a better New Year’s gift for the Drejkas than that," Trevena explained. "That the lead detective gets arrested, and in kind of a heinous fashion, showing up at a crime scene drunk. Was he drunk when he went to the Drejka crime scene? I mean, come on!"
Trevena insists the state has no case, and that a jury cannot believe Moffett when he says this is not a "stand-your-ground" shooting.
"I’d just deposed him last month and I recall him vividly," he said. "What really stuck out in my mind is that he was very adamant in the deposition that he thought Mr. Drejka should’ve been arrested immediately. He was pushing hard for that, but the sheriff and chain of command said 'no.'"
The state attorney's office declined to comment for this story, as did the attorneys for McGlockton's family.
It's unclear whether Moffett will now be called as a witness in the Drejka case, or any others he investigated. Trevena said if Moffett is called to testify, he plans to play hardball.
"For cross examination purposes you couldn't ask for anything better," Trevena said. "I can't wait to get the chance."