Saturday, June 15, 2024

Guilty verdict in the case against Boat Captain Jesse Mayer for the 2019 crash that killed Robert Krysztofowicz in Madeira Beach

On Monday, May 8, 2023, a jury in Pinellas County, Florida, rendered a guilty verdict on charges of Vessel Homicide against Jesse Mayer.

The verdict came just shy of 4 years after a fatal vessel crash between a boat and personal watercraft. The incident occurred at about 4:50 p.m. on Friday, August 30, 2019, in the Intracoastal Waterway just north of the Tom Stuart Causeway in Madeira Beach.

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the Marine Unit said that 56-year-old Robert Krysztofowicz of East Aurora, New York, operated a Yamaha personal watercraft and traveled northbound in the Intracoastal Waterway, just north of the Tom Stuart Causeway in Madeira Beach.

Deputies say 35-year-old Jesse Mayer of Madeira Beach was operating a 2017 37-foot Center Console Freeman Boatworks vessel and was also traveling northbound in the Intracoastal Waterway.

During their investigation, deputies learned Mayer was operating the vessel north on the Intracoastal waterway at high speed (approximately 73 mph) when he struck Krysztofowicz in a slow wake zone and struck the rear of the personal watercraft driven by Krysztofowicz.

Mayer’s vessel then traveled over the personal watercraft and Krysztofowicz, causing fatal injuries. He suffered injuries, including a skull fracture, a severed right arm, a large laceration to his upper right leg, and multiple fractures to his lower right leg.

Krysztofowicz was brought to the Madeira Beach Marina located at 503 150th Avenue in Madeira Beach and was pronounced deceased by deputies at the scene.

Thunderstorms were in the area at the time of the crash.

According to Mayer’s website, he had a Charterboat Captain’s License and operated James Gang Charters out of John’s Pass.

On September 9, 2019, at approximately 4:17 p.m., deputies arrested 35-year-old Jesse Mayer at his attorney’s office located at 5250 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater and transported him to the Pinellas County Jail without incident. He bonded out after about 6 hours at the Pinellas County Jail.

Mayer was originally charged with BUI Manslaughter, Vessel Homicide, Child Neglect, Reckless Operation of a Vessel, and Violation of Navigation Rules.

Investigators say Mayer showed indicators of impairment after the crash, which included: the odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and glassy eyes, dilated pupils, and a sway.

The arrest affidavit reports that Mayer’s blood alcohol concentration was .102 almost three hours after the crash. A level of .08 exceeds the Florida threshold for impairment of operating a boat or motor vehicle. A much lower threshold is set for a licensed boat captain.

Mayer’s own 9-year-old daughter was one of the passengers aboard the boat at the time of the crash.

After the guilty verdict on Monday, May 8, 2023, Mayer was remanded into custody and booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Sentencing is currently set for August 25, 2023 at 1:30 pm.

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