Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
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Powell Middle teacher gets probation for DUI

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BROOKSVILLE - Powell Middle School teacher Jesse Mockler was sentenced to one year probation last week on the misdemeanor charges of DUI and refusal to submit to a breath test.

The charges stem from a Feb. 3 arrest.

Court documents show Mockler, 36, was pulled over on U.S. 19 south of Berkeley Manor after a Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw him traveling 72 mph in a 55-mph zone, and observed his "extreme impairment."

About an hour later, Mockler refused to give a breath sample at the jail. Mockler was "belligerent and profane," according to the arrest report, and said he was "high" and an alcoholic who needed help.

On July 18, Mockler changed his previous not guilty plea to no contest and was sentenced by Judge Kurt Hitzemann to one year probation for the DUI charge and six months probation for the refusal to submit charge. The sentences will be served concurrently, and Mockler's driver's license was revoked for six months. Mockler will need to complete 50 hours of community service and DUI school.

Court documents earlier this month also show Mockler's ex-girlfriend filed a second restraining order against him since 2012. The woman also was the petitioner in a 2012 battery case in which Mockler was the defendant.

The woman wrote the State Attorney's Office dropped the battery charges per her request, and she did not show up to court for the 2012 restraining order because she wanted Mockler to keep his teaching job.

But in the petition filed earlier this month, the woman wrote she wished she had never dropped the previous order against Mockler.

Heather Martin, executive director of business services for Hernando County Schools, confirmed Thursday Mockler was still employed as a teacher at Powell Middle.

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