A Ponte Vedra woman, who was arrested last week on charges of driving under the influence after a multicounty hit-and-run spree with her two children in an SUV, had recently filed a domestic injunction against her husband for domestic battery before filing for divorce, according to St. Johns County court records.
Court documents obtained Thursday by News4Jax revealed that at least one of the two children, ages 1 and 3, was not wearing a proper safety restraint as Brandy Gleaton, 33, drove on the interstate from Duval County up to Camden County Georgia on Jan. 5.
The hundreds of pages of documents do not explain the mother's behavior, which authorities say endangered the lives of the two children, but they do provide insight into what she had been dealing with the last several months.
On Oct. 11, Gleaton's husband was charged with domestic battery. The incident report said he grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her into a wall while the children were home.
Court records show that Gleaton filed for an injunction against her husband on Oct. 14. In response to his wife's injunction for domestic violence, the husband said she was the original aggressor and hit him in the head before he pushed her away from him, according to court documents.
The junction was granted Nov. 2, and then Gleaton filed for divorce nearly two weeks later, records say.
The couple was scheduled to be in St. Johns County court for an injunction hearing Jan. 6, but Gleaton was not there because she was arrested the day before.
Kyle Bedran, a local family law attorney who has no connection to the case, said full custody was given to Gleaton after the injunction was granted, but custody hsa been given back to the father after Gleaton's recent arrest.
"Now, the court has a very difficult situation. They've got both parties placing both children in harm's way and they've got to make the ultimate decision, and not what's best for the husband, not what's best for the wife, but what's best for the children," Bedran said.
Whether the court documents shed light on what could have led to the last week's incident, Bedran said that every case is different, and Gleaton could have been under a lot of stress.
"They're going back-and-forth and fighting with each other, whether they're legitimate arguments or not. They have it out for each other; it's very clear. So, maybe, the stress got to her. Maybe, this is something that has been boiling for some time," Bedran said. "We don't really know, but, obviously, going through a divorce is stressful. It's always a miserable situation, and then kids on top of it, is very difficult."
Both parents have been ordered by the court to go through health evaluations, and the husband must complete intervention courses for his battery charge -- all requirements that will be considered in the judge's final decision over custody rights, according to Bedran.
With all that is involved in the case, Bedran said, it could take up to two years for everything to be resolved.
As of Thursday, the next scheduled court date is a case management hearing on March 1.