for immediate release
January 7, 2003

N E W S   R E L E A S E

A Destin teenager has been arrested on a DUI Manslaughter charge as the result of an investigation into a traffic fatality in November. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office arrested Thomas E. "Tommy" Cottone, Jr. , age 17 (12-3-1985), at his home, 3993 Indian Trail, this afternoon (Tuesday afternoon).

A Warrant naming Cottone on a charge of DUI Manslaughter was signed today (Tuesday). Laboratory results showed a blood alcohol level in excess of .15 and also revealed the presence of Benzoylegonine (Valium), a controlled substance, in Cottone's blood. An investigation into the crash indicated Cottone's car was traveling more than 55 miles per hour on a posted 25 mile per hour residential street at the time of the crash on November 9. A passenger in Cottone's car, Jacolby Morris, age 16, died as a result of injuries received when Cottone's 2002 Lexus ran off of Spring Lake Drive and ran into a large oak tree.

Also today, Cottone was arrested on a warrant in an unrelated case on charges of Grand Theft and Principal to the Fraudulent use of Credit Card. Those charges are in relation to the reported theft of a DVD player and credit card from a residence in Destin last spring.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420