Police Briefs 5/3/18

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 5/2/18

Landscaper facing state insurance fraud chargeGREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Fleming Island man turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office April 25 to be officially booked on charges …

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Police Briefs 5/3/18


Landscaper facing state insurance fraud charge

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Fleming Island man turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office April 25 to be officially booked on charges stemming from a state investigation.

The Florida Department of Financial Services charged Joshua Philip Fletcher, 33, of Fleming Island, with one count each of knowingly concealing payroll data in order to commit worker’s compensation fraud and organized fraud.

According to the arrest warrant, the investigation that began on Feb. 22 found Fletcher and his wife Jill Fletcher, who co-owned J Fletcher Enterprises Inc., purchased minimal worker’s compensation insurance coverage for his company TriMac Outdoor, a statewide commercial landscaping company.

The investigation – conducted by state officials from the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, Bridgefield Employers Insurance Company and Summit Holdings Special Investigations Unit – found “Joshua Fletcher and Jill Fletcher failed to report its company’s true payroll exposure [redaction] …revealed in an effort to commit worker’s compensation premium fraud,” states the warrant.

Under Florida law, an employer’s worker’s compensation insurance premiums are calculated on a formula involving the amount a company pays in payroll, the rated risk of the work being performed and the number of employees to be covered by the policy. In the event a worker is hurt on the job, worker’s compensation insurance covers the worker’s work-related medical expenses up to a point.

Misrepresenting any of the factors used to calculate insurance premiums is a form of insurance fraud commonly referred to as “premium fraud,” according to the warrant.

Under Florida law, the crime is a first-degree felony.

After being booked on the charges, Fletcher posted a $100,006 bond and was released from custody.

Woman sentenced in DUI-injury crash

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County judge sentenced a Jacksonville woman to state prison on April 25 for seriously injuring a man while driving under the influence in a January 2017 crash.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge John H. Skinner sentenced Sarah Alyssia Aldrich, 23, to 55 months in a state prison while also giving her credit for 33 days she served in jail.

Court officials also dropped a charge of reckless driving originally lodged against Aldrich for the January 21, 2017 crash that occurred on U.S. Highway 301 in the northbound lanes in Western Clay County.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by the Florida Highway Patrol, Aldrich was driving a Dodge Dart sedan heading southbound in the northbound lanes when she struck a Toyota Camry sedan head-on. When FHP arrived, Aldrich had been removed from the car and transported to Orange Park Medical Center for treatment of injuries. The driver of the Toyota, Christopher D. Roughton, 23, was in the process of being removed the car when FHP arrived on the scene. Roughton was also transported to OPMC where he was listed in critical condition for injuries he received in the crash.

A voluntary blood-alcohol test revealed Aldrich had a blood-alcohol content of 0.23, almost four times the legal limit for impairment.

Keystone Heights man indicted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Keystone Heights man believed to be responsible for the DUI-related deaths of two Interlachen residents is now in the Clay County Jail after the state attorney’s office filed paperwork April 10 to move the case forward through the courts.

Eric B. Pierce, 53, faces indictment on two counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of DUI with serious bodily injury to another person.

Witnesses told the Florida Highway Patrol that Pierce was driving recklessly in and out of traffic in a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup southbound on State Road 21 near County Road 315C on September 29, 2017 when he attempted to pass several cars in a no passing zone at 7:42 p.m.

While attempting to pass, Pierce’s truck ran head-on into a 2011 Ford Fiesta driven by Ronnie Wayne Thomas, 52, of Interlachen. Both Thomas and his passenger in the Ford, Tabatha May Taylor, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Pierce and a passenger, Frederic Donald Helm III, 73, of Orange Park, both received critical injuries and were transported to Orange Park Medical Center.

State Road 21 was shut down for several hours while FHP conducted the investigation.

At press time, Pierce remained in jail.

UPDATE: Man sentenced to prison for 2016 assault

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – An Orange Park-area man is in the Clay County Jail awaiting transfer to a state prison after being convicted in a local courtroom.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Michael Sharrit sentenced Larry Todd Prevatt, 49, of the Orange Park area to five years in prison for one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and a concurrent five-year term for one count of burglary. He was sentenced on April 19 by Judge Michael Sharrit.

Sharrit also gave Prevatt credit for 233 days he served in jail that will be applied to his prison sentence.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office originally charged Prevatt with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and armed burglary for a fight and shooting that took place on April 11, 2016.

According to the arrest warrant, Prevatt walked into the victim’s residence on College Drive near Orange Park carrying a baseball bat and a can of gasoline. Police said he violently assaulted the victim and attempted to set the residence on fire. Prevatt assaulted both Brian Darnell and Prevatt’s estranged wife who had been dating Darnell since January 2016 when she filed for divorce.

During the melee, police said Prevatt bit his estranged wife on the arms during before Darnell entered a closet and retrieved a shotgun that he used to subdue Prevatt. “When deputies arrive, both Larry Prevatt and Brian Darnell are lying in the yard, approximately 12 feet away from one another in complete exhaustion and both severely injured,” states the warrant.

Arrest: Drunk driving with child in vehicle

ORANGE PARK – A Jacksonville woman faces charges of driving under the influence with a juvenile child in her vehicle.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mahrie Janae Chitty, 42, on April 29 at 12:10 a.m. in the parking lot of a convenience store at 686 Blanding Blvd.

According to the police report, officers were called to the store “to an insane person call for service” when they found Chitty who refused a field sobriety test. Police said she “was uncooperative and became increasingly agitated” with the officer.

According to the police report, Chitty is charged with child neglect without great bodily harm, driving with a suspended license and receiving a third DUI charge within 10 years.

At press time, she remained in the Clay County Jail where bond is set at $7,506.

Teen collared for string of break-ins

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Authorities nabbed a Jacksonville teen and charged him in connection with a string of burglaries on Fleming Island.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Darren Asa Shaw, 18, on the morning of April 26 in a park near Eagle Crest Drive on Fleming Island. According to the police report, Shaw was asleep on a playground with stolen goods lying on the ground surrounding him.

While the police states that Shaw “did commit seven acts of burglary to auto,” his booking at the Clay County Jail shows he has only been charged with three counts of burglary.

According to the police report, the total value of items stolen was reported at $400. Items include a backpack, a wallet and a chain saw.

At press time, Shaw remain in the Clay County Jail with his bond set at $71,511. He also faces one count of possession of alcohol by a person under 21.


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