BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Clovis Watson IV, 30, was arrested this morning on a warrant for habitually driving without a valid license.
The warrant was issued after Watson was pulled over for having a non-operational headlight on June 3 and cited for driving without a license as a habitual offender. Watson has an extensive history of driving infractions, including an arrest on November 24, 2021, for driving without a license, second or subsequent offense. He was designated a habitual traffic offender for a period of 5 years on September 23, 2021. He has also been cited in the past 18 months for failure to drive in a single lane, failure to yield, failure to display a tag (twice), and illegal window tinting (twice).
In January of 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order, assigning John Durrett, State Attorney from the 3rd Circuit, to handle several of Watson’s cases from 2021, including the November 24 case, a November 23 complaint for kicking in the door of his pregnant former girlfriend’s apartment, and a December 25 complaint for aggravated battery and snatching a cellphone from his former girlfriend. Charges in the latter two cases were dropped on April 12, 2022, when Durrett issued letters that said, “Lengthy discussions have been had with the alleged victim in the underlying case. Conflicting testimony was provided by the alleged victim, and it was made clear and unequivocal that cooperation with the prosecution would not exist. Given such, further pursuit of this matter is not warranted.”
A plea deal was reached at the same time to withhold adjudication on the misdemeanor charge of driving without a license, with a sentence of 12 months of probation and 100 hours of community service. Watson IV completed the community service, but the new citation on June 3 led to a notice of violation of probation and a requirement for a hearing.
Governor DeSantis issued another executive order on July 6, again assigning John Durrett to the case because of conflicts of interest for Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. and State Attorney Brian Kramer. Durrett filed a formal felony charge against Watson IV on July 15 for driving while his license was revoked, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on July 19.
Although the warrant recommended bail of $5,000, Watson was released on his own recognizance with requirements to not drive without a license and report to his probation officer.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.