On Thursday, November 3, the Polk County’s Sherriff’s Office
arrested the driver responsible for the death of a mother and critically
injuring a deputy in a hit-and-run collision that occurred on Saturday,
October 29. Before the arrest was made, the Heartland Crime Stoppers received
a tip about the suspect’s vehicle that might have been involved
in the crash, which occurred on Saturday, at about 12:40 AM, off the westbound
State Route 60 in Lake Wales.
The Traffic Homicide Unit of the Polk County’s Sherriff’s Office
responded and saw a Ford F-150 leaving a residential area. A traffic stop
was performed, and the driver was positively identified as the suspect
in the hit-and-run accident. Seventy-one-year-old Charles "Charlie"
Lewis of Lake Wales was arrested.
Lewis admitted that he was at a party on Friday evening, October 28, where
he consumed alcoholic beverages and proceeded to drive home. He explained
to the deputies that he knew he crashed into something but was unsure
of what the object was. He continued to express remorse for killing Jessica
Enchautegui-Otero and seriously injuring Deputy Sheriff Adam Pennell.
In an interview, Sheriff Grady Judd stated, “Never underestimate
the power of the community […] Thanks to an anonymous tip, we were
able to solve this case, and help bring some closure to these two families
whose lives were forever changed by the reckless actions of Charlie Lewis.”
Attorney Kevin Kohl of
Boswell & Dunlap LLP remarked, “It certainly makes it easier to convict […] A
lot of times it’s difficult putting someone behind the wheel and
even if you can identify the vehicle, you have to identify who’s
According to Sheriff Judd, Lewis will spend the remainder of his life in
Polk County Jail.