WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch developer J.D. Porter, who was arrested nearly three months ago on a DUI charge, pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving.
Porter must serve six months probation in addition to paying $376 in court costs. He must serve either 50 hours of community service or pay a $500 fine. County Judge William F. Sestak judged him guilty at a hearing last week. During his probation, the judge said, Porter is forbidden to have alcohol and must complete a DUI school.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Porter, 34, of 3038 Triple Crown Court in Dade City, was headed east on State Road 56 about 7 p.m. on Feb. 17 when he pulled a U-turn across a median in a white SUV.
When a trooper pulled him over, the report says, Porter "appeared to be out of it," and had to use the SUV for support while he stood. He refused field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests.
Porter declined to comment on the case.
Porter also had a run-in with the law on July 4, when he was arrested on suspicion of criminal mischief and domestic battery after deputies say he got into a physical argument with his girlfriend, Maridy Gregory. She is the sister-in-law of Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. Prosecutors dropped the case a month later after Gregory declined to press charges.
According to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrest report, Porter and Gregory got into a fight after she found a text message from another woman on his phone. During the argument, the report said, he spit tobacco juice on her and set fire to a pile of her clothes in the driveway. Gregory also told deputies that Porter broke the rear window of her Mercedes with a barrel, causing an estimated $1,500 in damage. In a sworn statement to prosecutors, Gregory said Porter paid to repair the window.
Records also show a DUI on Feb. 28, 2011, which was reduced to reckless driving. Porter pleaded no contest and received a fine and a year's probation.