A father and girlfriend have been arrested on charges for a deadly canal crash that killed two young boys.
Following an investigation, Cape Coral police arrested the father, Kenneth Wayne Lawson, on two counts of DUI manslaughter after a car crashed into a Cape Coral canal and killed his two sons, 10-year-old John Wayne and 7-year-old Titus.
CCPD also announced Friday afternoon that girlfriend, Julia Ann Drudy, who was also in the car at the time of the crash was wanted. She was arrested later that night.
Lawson faces separate charges in Lee County related to property damage at a woman’s home. He is also wanted on charges in Michigan. CCPD confirmed Lawson will be prosecuted in Florida before he would see extradition to Michigan for charges there. However, Florida would have to pay to extradite him, since investigators there won’t.
On Saturday, both had a first appearance in court. Lawson is held with bail set at $525,000; $250,000 for each DUI manslaughter count and another $25,000 for a suspended license charge. Drudy has bail set at $10,000. Both are restricted by the court from the possession of, or consuming, alcohol or drugs.
“The prosecutor and the police have made the decision that, if he is caught out of state, they are not going to extradite him,” Swartz explained to WINK News previously. “Police officers have to come down here and transport the defendant up there, and it’s all a very expensive proposition.”
A family member told us they are happy justice will be served for the two boys.
Acting CCPD Chief Anthony Sizemore says the officers and the good Samaritan felt the same way the community did — anger over the deaths of the brothers and a need for justice.
“Especially for our investigators and our team, I mean, we’re mothers and fathers and have children as well, and the firefighters who assisted and the good Samaritan,” Sizemore said. It is just tragedy upon tragedy.”
Cape Coral Police Department arrested Julia Ann Drudy, 31, Friday night.
According to police, Drudy spoke with officers after seeing the press conference and wanted to turn herself in.
Drudy was arrested and faces charges for permitting an unauthorized operator to drive. She is in the process of being taken to Lee County Jail for booking.
With the arrests made, community members continue to pray for the two brothers. Good Samaritan Tyler Ravert jumped into the canal and did everything he could to save John Wayne and Titus from the car they were trapped inside.
“He (Lawson) put me in that situation. He put my wife in that situation,” Ravert said. “This is a very personal thing to me.”
During the conference for Lawson’s arrest, acting Chief Sizemore explained how these investigations can affect the public and the police department.
“I realize it can be frustrating as we wait for an arrest, but we sacrifice a quick arrest for a thorough investigation,” Sizemore said.
Police say Lawson and Drudy got out of the car after the crash and left the boys behind. That’s something Ravert doesn’t accept.
“It’s constantly in my head, just constantly, and it’s kind of like put a shadow over everything,” Ravert said. “This is like all I’m focusing on. It’s just for those children.”
You can watch police announce Kenneth Lawson’s arrest below, or follow this link: