Driver in fatal road-rage crash previously accused victim of abuse, records show

Chriskesha Pierce accused of negligent homicide in Darrius Grooms' death

By Clay LePard - Reporter

A 21-year-old woman is accused killing her ex-boyfriend in a Sanford crash Wednesday morning. Records show that the couple had a tumultuous relationship including previous domestic violence charges.

Officials with the Sanford Police Department said the crash near Celery and Mellonville avenues at around 10 a.m.

Witnesses said they observed an act of road rage between a black Volkswagen Jetta and a green Chevrolet Cavalier. Police did not describe the act of road rage.

The Jetta, driven by 26-year-old Darrius Grooms, crashed into a tree, police said. Grooms was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Chriskesha Pierce faces one charge of negligent homicide for her role in Grooms' death, Sanford police said.

According to the arrest record, Pierce and Grooms were each driving through Sanford when they first saw each other. They then jockeyed back and forth along a stretch of Mellonville Avenue, with one of the drivers traveling on the wrong side of the road just to keep up.  

Pierce told police she thinks they were driving about 60 miles per hour, double the posted speed limit.

Pierce denies hitting Grooms' car, but officers said they've determined her car was the one that hit Grooms' car, causing him to lose control and crash into a tree. 

Court records show a tumultuous relationship between the two; Grooms was arrested earlier this month on domestic violence charges.

Grooms was charged Dec. 4 with kidnapping, domestic violence and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The victim who identified herself as Grooms' live-in girlfriend, told Sanford police that on Nov. 27 Grooms began to choke her in a headlock after an argument. Grooms was also accused of punching her and threatening her with a pistol, according to the arrest report.

Grooms was ordered not to have any contact with Pierce after her posted bond.

News 6 also found out Pierce has a lengthy criminal history that includes kidnapping, burglary and grand theft. This month, she was found not mentally competent to stand trial on those charges.

"For her to do this to him, is unbelievable," said Teresa Mathews, Grooms' mother. "Their relationship was toxic, she's very controlling and very manipulative."  

Pierce remains locked up at the Seminole County Jail, after her bail was revoked in a different case that's pending. She is scheduled back in court for this case in February.

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