LCSO catches suspected
rapist and dog killer

Published May 29, 2015 @ 1:27 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- A 55-year-old man who lives in the Williston area is in the Levy County Jail in lieu of a $1.1 million bond now as the result of an anonymous tip, according to Lt. Scott Tummond of the Levy County Sheriff's Office.

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 LCSOstokes052915    On May 27, LCSO Investigators received an anonymous tip that Audie Jackson Stokes shot five dogs on his property. Investigators were previously aware Stokes had been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from owning a firearm.

Audie Jackson Stokes

     Investigators responded to the Stokes home located in the Williston area. Stokes met investigators in his yard, and he began to weave an implausible explanation. When the story was challenged, Stokes granted permission to search his home. Investigators located and seized two firearms and ammunition in his bedroom. As the search continued, Investigators discovered five dogs that had been shot in the head and discarded in the back of his family owned 35 acre property.  The dogs appeared otherwise healthy. Stokes was then taken into custody.
     As the investigation continued, other potential witnesses were interviewed. Evidence was discovered of a violent history of domestic abuse perpetrated by Stokes. After hours of interviews and crime scene investigation, Investigators determined Stokes had held a female victim hostage, tying her to a bed and ultimately sexually battering her.
     As a result, investigators developed a case and filed four felony charges against Stokes.  He was booked into the Levy County Detention Facility, charged with five counts of animal abuse – causing a cruel death, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, sexual battery and false imprisonment, Tummond said.


FWC warns about sturgeon

This video shows a public service announcement from the FWC about sturgeon.
Published May 29, 2015 @ 3:17 p.m.
Video by FWC



Man dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 29, 2015
     ALACHUA COUNTY -- Injuries suffered on Thursday evening (May 28) at approximately 5:20 p.m. in a single-pickup truck crash claimed the life of a 67-year-old Gainesville man, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. W. Berger, from information provided by FHP homicide M.Cpl Jessie Stalnaker.
     Ronnie Denham was traveling north on Alachua County Road 325 Southeast, just north of the Cross Creek area, at or about the posted maximum 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, the FHP said. For reasons yet unknown, Denham allowed his vehicle to veer or drift off the pavement onto the right, grassy shoulder; without the presence of braking or any steering input, the FHP said.
     The vehicle then continued down the shoulder of the roadway (veering evermore toward the right), eventually colliding into a large oak tree, hitting the tree with its front right, the FHP said.
     Denham was discovered by a passerby, who called for help by dialing 9-1-1, the FHP said. Denham was transported to UF Health Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead, the FHP said.
     He was wearing a seat belt. There was no indication of impairment and the causation of this incident is under investigation, pending a review by the Medical Examiner's Office, the FHP said.

LCSO nabs suspected thief
Seeks more victims
Published May 28, 2015 @ 9:27 p.m.
     BRONSON -- On May 16, Levy County Sheriff's Office investigators, in cooperation with Cedar Key Police Department, arrested Cale Brandon Barber, 30, of Williston on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.
 LCSObarber052815    The LCSO had been looking for Barber after receiving a complaint that he drove away from a gas station in Williston without paying for his fuel.

Cale Brandon Barber goes by many names. Anyone who purchased items from him is asked to contact the LCSO.

     The Cedar Key Police Department was also investigating Barber after receiving a complaint that he stole items from a residence in Cedar Key, and that he had been selling stolen property to unsuspecting buyers.
     After being taken into custody, LCSO investigators determined Barber was suspected in many more crimes across Levy County. During a post-arrest interview, Barber confessed to investigators that he had stolen many chainsaws and guns from residences in Levy County. Investigators found reason to believe Barber committed up to seven burglaries and sold the stolen property in multiple jurisdictions. Investigators have been able to recover eight chainsaws, two weed-eaters, five guns, a Yeti cooler and a boat motor up to this point.
 Investigators learned Barber had been trying to sell a four-wheeler within the last month. The brand and type are unknown. Barber has connections and access to several hunting clubs in Levy County and was known to perform day labor on local farms.
     The LCSO is asking our residents and visitors to double check the location of their All-Terrain Vehicles.  
     The LCSO wants anyone to call the office if they had any contact with Barber, either as a potential victim or if they purchased anything from him.
     Investigators know Barber used fictitious names when selling his stolen property to unsuspecting buyers. Anyone who bought property from this man is asked to contact, LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond at 352-486-5111 ext 285.  
     As always, information can be provided through Crime Stoppers of Levy County at 1-877-349-8477.

Sturgeon collision on
Santa Fe River injures one

Published May 28, 2015 @ 3:17 p.m.
     SANTA FE RIVER -- A Lake City resident escaped serious injury Saturday (May 23), when a sturgeon collided with her boat on the Santa Fe River.
     Cynthia Graves, 59, was operating a pontoon boat on the Santa Fe when a sturgeon jumped out of the water and struck the console and windshield of the vessel, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers.
     Graves was struck by the fish, but didn’t require medical attention. FWC Officer Kyle Pekerol was dispatched to the scene after Graves’ daughter reported the incident.
     “The only damage to the boat was the broken windshield,” Pekerol said. “The fish flopped out of the boat and back into the water.”
     The collision occurred between the Ichetucknee River and Sandy Point, a local boat ramp and campground.
     “I’m extremely glad to hear that Ms. Graves wasn’t seriously injured,” said Maj. Andy Krause, commander for the FWC’s North Central Region in Lake City. “However, boaters should be aware that these fish are in the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. We want people to enjoy the recreational opportunities on the rivers, but we also want people to be aware that these fish do jump and can hurt you.”
     This is the first reported strike in two years and the first collision reported on the Santa Fe River. In the past, the FWC has documented sturgeon strikes only on the Suwannee River in this area.
     “Please don’t think this can’t happen to you. If you are recreating on the rivers during the summer months, there’s a good chance you could encounter a sturgeon jumping out of the water,” Krause said.
     The FWC recommends going slow to reduce the risk of impact and to have more reaction time if a jumping sturgeon is encountered. All boaters are encouraged to wear their life jacket at all times while on the water and keep passengers off the bow of the boat.
     “We had no reported strikes for 2013 and 2014. However, we do want people to know they should be cautious when on the Suwannee and Santa Fe. We certainly don’t want anyone else injured,” Krause said.
     These collisions aren’t attacks. The fish aren’t targeting boaters. They are simply doing what they have been doing for millions of years: jumping. Researchers have discovered sturgeon jump for two reasons: to fill their swim bladders to maintain neutral buoyancy and to communicate with other fish.
     While it is possible for them to jump anywhere in the river, sturgeon in the Suwannee River are more commonly observed jumping where they gather in “holding” areas. Major holding areas in the Suwannee occur above Jack's Sandbar; below Manatee Springs; between Fanning Spring and Usher Landing; below Old Town Trestle; below the conjunction of the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers; near Rock Bluff; and below Anderson Springs. There are a number of less important holding areas too.
     Biologists estimate the annual population of sturgeon in the Suwannee River to be between 10,000-14,000 fish, averaging 40 pounds. However, a few exceed 170 pounds. They can leap more than 7 feet out of the water. To add to the seriousness of being hit by one, the fish have five rows of armor-like scutes.
     Adult fish spend eight to nine months each year in the river, spawning in May, and then return to the Gulf during the coolest months to feed.
     State and federal laws protect sturgeon, just like bald eagles, panthers and sea turtles. Gulf sturgeon cannot be harvested.
     To report sturgeon collisions, call 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Two hurt in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 27, 2015 @ 8:37 p.m.
     LAFAYETTE COUNTY – Two people suffered minor injuries as the result of injuries suffered in a three-vehicle crash late Wednesday afternoon (May 27), according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace, based on information provided by crash investigator FHP Trooper J. DeJesus.
     Three vehicles were eastbound on U.S. Highway 27, just west of Howard Hamlin Lane in Lafayette County at 4:30 p.m., the FHP said.
     Amanda Williams, 25, of Old Town was driving a 2012 Chevrolet. Todd Eric Cason, 51, of Fort White was driving a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. Harriett Cason, 44, was his passenger. Michelle Renee Gaylord, 38, of Branford was driving a 2011 Honda car, the FHP said.
     Williams was behind Cason. Cason was behind Gaylord.
     Cason and Gaylord stopped for other traffic, the FHP said, but Williams failed to stop behind Cason. The Chevrolet’s front struck the Pathfinder's rear, the FHP said.
     The impact of that crash caused the Nissan to move forward, striking the Honda's rear with its front, the FHP said.
     The Nissan came to final rest in the westbound lane. The Chevrolet came to final rest facing north in the eastbound lane. Gaylord brought the Honda car to a controlled stop on the south shoulder, the FHP said.
     Everyone was wearing seat belts, the FHP said.
     Williams and Eric Cason suffered minor injuries and were taken to UF Health in Gainesville, the FHP said. The other individuals in the crash were not hurt, the FHP said.
     Williams was cited for careless driving, the FHP said.


Woman dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 27, 2015 @ 8:57 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY -- A 42-year-old Ocala woman died Wednesday afternoon (May 27) in a single-car crash, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace, from information provided by FHP homicide investigator FHP Cpl. W. Dill.
     Jill Ruiz of Ocala was driving a 2012 Kia Forte traveling eastbound on Southwest 30th Street at a high rate of speed, the FHP said. She failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection of Southwest 38th Avenue, the FHP said, and drove across 38th Avenue and onto the east grass shoulder.
     The front of the Kia hit a large utility pole located on the shoulder, the FHP said, and then it rotated clockwise off the pole and came to rest on top of the I-75 perimeter fence facing west.
     Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene, the FHP said. The accident happened at 3:18 p.m., the FHP said.

Alleged altercation leads to jail
Published May 27, 2015 @ 3:57
     DIXIE COUNTY – A call for help in the very wee hours of the morning a couple of Sundays ago led to one man being jailed, according to a May 26 press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
DCSOward052715     Shortly after 3 in the morning on May 17, a DCSO deputy was dispatched to an address on Northeast 680th Street in Old Town, Harden said.

Earl B. Ward

     The deputy learned there and then that the suspect, Earl B. Ward, 28, of Old Town,  had been involved in an altercation that escalated to the point in which the victim had been physically battered, Harden said.
     Prior to the deputy’s arrival, the victim had called friends for a ride to get away from the address, Harden said, and when the two friends arrived, they too were threatened by Ward with a glass bottle.
     After completing the on-scene investigation Ward was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of domestic battery. Ward was put in the Dixie County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

Man suspected of resisting arrest
Published May 27, 2015 @ 4:07 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY -- Shortly after midnight on May 18, a deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a residence on Southeast 428th Street in the Town of Horseshow, in regard to a disturbance, according to a press relesae from DCSO spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
DCSOkight052715     When the deputy arrived, the suspect opened the front door of the residence and ordered the deputy from his yard.

Lewis W. Kight

     The deputy continued to the door where the suspect again opened the door and shouted profanities at the deputy before once again retreating into the home and closing the door, Harden said.
     The deputy then returned to his patrol car where he radioed for an additional unit to respond for assistance. As he was waiting, the suspect again opened the front door and shined a light on the deputy and said “Y’all aren’t the only ones with lights and guns,” before again slamming the door, Harden said.
     Once an additional unit had arrived on scene, they began to approach the front door when the suspect again came out shining a light in their eyes. As the deputies approached him, they applied chemical agents to the suspect and when he retreated into the home they entered and again applied chemical agents before taking him into custody, Harden said.
     The suspect, Lewis W. Kight, 43, from Horseshoe, was arrested and charged with Battery and Resisting an Officer without Violence. At first appearance Kight was ordered held without bond and the incident has been referred to the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office for review for the possibility of additional charges, Harden said.



FHP reminds drivers and
passengers to buckle up for life

National Click It or Ticket Campaign
goes Monday through May 31

Published May 16, 2015 @ 7:17 a.m.
Updated May 22, 2015 @ 1:07 p.m.

     FLORIDA -- The Florida Highway Patrol is participating in the upcoming Click it or Ticket enforcement wave beginning Monday (May 18) through Sunday (May 31).
     Troopers are focusing their enforcement efforts on drivers and passengers not buckling up and child restraint violations. Every day, thousands of people are injured or killed during vehicle crashes due to the lack of occupant restraint usage. Safety belt and child restraint use isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law!

adLCSOStar1LCSO arrests
to May 24

     Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in regard to people arrested. These defendants were arrested by the LCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


DWLSR– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published May 26, 2015 @ 2:17 p.m.

May 18
     Edward Franklin Cooper, 44, of Trenton was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Angelica Leigh Doty, 31, of Chiefland was arrested for forgery – cause prescription to be altered – first offense, poss. controlled substance without prescription. ROR.
     Ronald Victor Joyner, 34, of Bronson was arrested for aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery – touch or strike, burglary with assault or battery. Bond $175,000.
     Jessica Marie Nichols, 21, of Williston was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $2,000.
     David Norman Peppler Jr., 33, of Winter Haven was arrested for a writ of bodily attachment (child support) Bond $150.
May 19
     Ontez Marquee Ellison, 21, of Bronson was arrested for damage property – criminal mischief $1,000 or more, burglary – unoccupied structure – unarmed, larceny – grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000. Bond $100,000.
     Nicole Elaine McPherson, 33, of Williston was arrested for out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
May 20
     Kevin Troy Kass, 45, of Inglis was arrested for hinder/ delay/ or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge. Bond $25,000.
     David Edward Valentine, 36, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $500.
May 21
     Terry Bugna, 49, of Yankeetown was arrested for battery on officer/ firefighter/ EMT/ Etc. Bond $10,000.
     Darrell Dee Faver, 54, of Quinton Oklahoma was arrested as an out-of-state fugitive. No bond amount was given.
     John Murray Faver, 31, of Quinton Oklahoma was arrested for as an out-of-state fugitive. No bond amount was given.
May 22
     Bobby Lee Reffitt, 30, of Williston was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
May 23
     Zachary Lars Dillon, 30, of Chiefland was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, VOP. Bond $2,000.
     Terry C. Dyer, 35, of Ocala was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     William Justin Ford, 24, of Morriston was arrested for burglary – unoccupied structure – unarmed, larceny – petit theft – second degree – first offense, RWOV, disorderly conduct – brawling/ fighting/ corrupt public moral. Bond $11,000.
     Roy Lee henry, 30, of Old Town was arrested for DUI – alcohol or drugs, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license. Bond $4,000.
     Brishon Shakendra Proctor, 23, of Gainesville was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams. Bond $1,500.
May 24
     Agustin Cuevas Soriano, 41, of Immokalee was arrested for driving with expired license for more than six months. Bond $276.


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      Publisher’s note:
The following information was provided by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.



DWLSR
– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession

DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published May 26, 2015 @ 2:27 p.m.


May 18
     Lewis Wayne Kight, 43, of Horseshoe was arrested for domestic battery, RWOV. No bond amount was given.
May 20
     Terrance D. Joyner, 21, of Cross City was arrested for operate vehicle without a valid driver license, DWLSR – third or subsequent offense. No bond amount was given.
     Tyler Storm Parrish, 24, of Cross City was arrested for simple battery. Bond $3,000.
     John Joseph Barnette, 34, of Old Town was arrested for an out-of-county warrant, RWOV, DWLSR. Bond $2,000.
     Bobby Gordon Futch, 46, of Anna Maria was arrested on a warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Christopher Jacob Barnette, 32, of Old Town was arrested for a writ of child support. No bond amount was given.
May 21
     Kirsten M. Moore, 18, of Old Town was arrested for a Levy County warrant and obstruction. No bond amount was given.
May 22
     A 13-year-old juvenile from Cross City was arrested for RWOV, public order crime – aid and abet. No bond amount was given.
May 24
     Kenneth W. Bowers, 24, of Cross City was arrested on a Marion County warrant and a Levy County warrant. No bond amount was given.


adGCSOGCSO arrests
to May 24

      Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.



DWLSR
– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
ROR - Released on Own Recognizance

Published May 26, 2015 @ 2:27 p.m.

May 22
     Austin K. Cone, 18, of Middleburg was arrested for trespassing – property not structure or conveyance. No bond amount was given.
     Trevor M. Foster, 22, of Titusville was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. No bond amount was given.
     Joshua Edward Hendricks, 30, of Jacksonville was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams. No bond amount was given.
May 23
     Derek Edward Buben, 23, of Orlando was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. Bond $4,000.
     Mason Adam Dukes, 23, of Lake Butler was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription. ROR.
     Christopher Dean Durden, 28, of McAlpin was arrested for BUI – first or second violation. Bond $1,000.
     Justin Tyler Jenkins, 25, of Omega, Georgian was arrested for marijuana – distribute – schedule I, marijuana – poss. marijuana over 20 grams. Bond $12,000.
May 24
     Tiffany Nicole Casey, 29, of St. Augustine was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams. Bond $1,000.
     Bruce Addison L’Hommedieu, 53, of Trenton was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, poss. of drug paraphernalia. Bond $2,000.
     Jonathan Lee Lozano, 22, Indiantown was arrested for marijuana – poss. over 20 grams. Bond $3,000.

-- UPDATED --

FRI.    MAY 29   1:27 a.m.

Levy-Dixie-Gilchrist




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