Jail time to be recommended for 'selfie war' paramedics
They used their cellphones to photograph or videotape themselves with 41 people who were intubated, sedated or otherwise unconscious
By Tony Judnich
Northwest Florida Daily News
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Two former Okaloosa County paramedics soon could go to jail because of their so-called "selfie war" that began in September 2015 and continued into the following spring.
Kayla Renee Dubois, 25, of Navarre, will be sentenced Aug. 14 and Christopher Robert Wimmer, 34, of Crestview, will be sentenced Sept. 19 by Circuit Judge William Stone.
Authorities say the defendants used their personal cellphones to photograph or videotape themselves with 41 people who were intubated, sedated or otherwise unconscious while being treated on the scene or in an ambulance.
Dubois recently pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications. Wimmer pleaded no contest to seven felony counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications and one misdemeanor count of battery. The battery charge stemmed from a Feb. 22, 2016, incident in which he allegedly held open the eyelids of a sedated 26-year-old woman for a selfie.
Dubois faces up to two years in jail. The maximum sentence for each of Wimmer's seven felony counts is five years in jail. He also faces up to one year in jail for his one misdemeanor count of battery.
Bill Bishop, chief assistant state attorney for Okaloosa County, said Friday that the state intends to recommend jail time followed by probation for both defendants.
Dubois was fired from her job May 20, 2016, and Wimmer resigned the same day. Bishop said state officials continue to investigate whether to revoke Dubois' and Wimmers' licenses to provide EMS services.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office began investigating the selfie war in May 2016 after a complaint from county EMS Chief Tracey Vause. Immediately afterward, the county's Department of Public Safety implemented a policy prohibiting personal electronic devices in the patient compartments of its ambulances. It also disabled the camera/video capabilities on all of its county-issued cellphones.
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