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Bond reinstated for Porsche driver accused of killing two in Fort Lauderdale while drunk

Three years under the specter of DUI manslaughter charges didn't stop XXXXXXXX from trying to make the best of herself, her lawyer said Friday.

XXXXXXX, 25, is facing those charges after driving her mother's 2012 Porsche Panamera through bushes and into a downtown Fort Lauderdale parking lot, killing Mackendy Jules, 30, and Samuel Artez Martindale, 35, two down-on-their-luck men who were chatting with friends at the time of the June 13, 2013 accident.

Freed on $450,000 bond a few weeks after the fatal crash, XXXXXXX was placed under house arrest and confined to her mother's beachfront condo unless she was at school or work.

Prosecutors say XXXXXXX was drunk at the time of the fatal accident, her blood alcohol level at .17 – more than twice the legal limit. As a condition of her release, she was not to consume drugs or alcohol.

She took full advantage of her limited freedom.

She graduated from Florida International University with a degree in International Relations. She made the dean's list. She found work as a research associate at a communications company in Miami, working out of FIU. She completed online courses offered by MIT, Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Broward Circuit Judge Ernest Kollra took her progress into account Friday when he granted XXXXXXX 's request to return home from the Broward jail where she's been held since June 28 for violating the conditions of her bond. He reset bond at $400,000, but this time XXXXXXX will not be allowed to leave her home at all.

XXXXXXX had no excuse for the violation, said her lawyer, Robert Reiff. But on June 21, from 1 to 3 a.m., she took a walk in her Fort Lauderdale beach neighborhood, ostensibly to walk her dog. A pre-trial release officer ordered her to be drug tested later that morning, but XXXXXXX didn't respond for hours, which made it impossible to determine whether she had consumed any alcohol while she was out.

Her brother, XXXXXXX, a U.S. Marine, told Kollra in a letter that his sister's error was probably caused in part by the panic and depression she has suffered since the accident.

"Over the last three years XXXX has routinely impressed people with her poise and the tenacity with which she has pursued her education and has attempted to remain a productive member of society," he wrote. "XXXX’s violation was a mistake, but one that I am confident she will never make again."

A GPS tracker indicated she spent some time near Blondies, a beachfront bar not far from her home.

At a hearing Friday, prosecutor Ellen St. Laurent argued for the likelihood that XXXXXXX had been drinking. "That's the same hours that she took the lives of two young men because she decided to abuse alcohol and drink and drive," St. Laurent said. And her failure to respond to the demand for immediate testing indicated that she knew she needed time for the presence of alcohol in her blood to wear off, St. Laurent said.

Reiff responded there was no proof XXXXXXX drank while she was out of her home, indicating she was only walking her dog and had purchased a pack of cigarettes.

"There is, simply put, no valid reason that Ms. XXXXXXX left her apartment," Reiff said.

Kollra chastised XXXXXXX for her dishonesty — she told her pretrial release officer she was only gone for half an hour — but with no proof she had consumed alcohol, Kollra decided XXXXXXX was still entitled to bond.

XXXXXXX's violation was even more peculiar in light of the most recent movement in her case, her lawyer said. Reiff had planned to file a motion asking the judge to toss the results of her blood alcohol tests. According to that motion, which he filed two days after XXXXXXX was taken into custody, the Broward Sheriff's Office used improper methods to collect, store and test her blood after the accident.

Alcohol is a factor in all of the charges XXXXXXX faces.

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