Florida teen accused of rigging homecoming election with mom to be charged as an adult

A Florida teen, who along with her mother is accused of rigging a homecoming queen election in her favor, is being charged as an adult, Fox News has confirmed.  

Emily Rose Grover was still 17 when she was arrested in March and turned 18 last month. A spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office in Escambia County told Fox News Tuesday that Grover will be tried as an adult.

L-R: Emily Grover, Laura Carroll 

L-R: Emily Grover, Laura Carroll 
(Escambia County Jail)

Grover and her mother, Laura Rose Carroll, 50, face multiple felony charges stemming from the October homecoming vote at Tate High School in Pensacola, Florida.

While employed as an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School in the same county, Carroll accessed the school district’s internal system to cast fraudulent votes for her daughter, officials said.

Authorities began investigating the matter in November after the Escambia County School District reported unauthorized access into hundreds of student accounts, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Investigators found that hundreds of votes for the school’s homecoming court were flagged as fraudulent. More than 100 votes were from the same IP address within a short period of time, the investigation found.

Investigators then found evidence of unauthorized access to the system linked to Carroll’s cellphone and computers at her home. There were nearly 250 votes cast for homecoming court from those devices.

Emily Grover during her high school homecoming. 

Emily Grover during her high school homecoming. 
(Jennifer Repine)

Multiple Tate students reportedly told investigators that Grover described using her mother’s system access, or of watching her mother access records, for years. Investigators learned that since August 2019, Carroll’s account accessed 372 high school records – 339 of which were Tate students.

Officials have confirmed that Carroll was suspended from her job, but it wasn’t immediately clear if she has been fired. Authorities said Grover was expelled from Tate High School.

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Each are charged with offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communications device; criminal use of personally identifiable information, and conspiracy to commit those offenses.

Fox News contacted Carroll, who referred questions to her and her daughter’s lawyer, Randy Etheridge. He was not immediately available for comment.

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Carroll remains free on a $6,000 bond, and Grover is free on $2,000 bond. Prosecutors said the mother and daughter each face a maximum 16-year sentence. The State Attorney’s Office spokesman told Fox News their trial will begin next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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