Police Briefs 2/13/20

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State to seek death penalty for New Year’s Eve shooting

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The man charged with shooting two people to death and injuring another man could wind up on Florida’s Death Row if convicted.

A grand jury returned two first-degree murder charges and an attempted murder indictment against Taylor Ryan Hill, 22, after an argument over stolen clothes led to a triple shooting.

Following the indictment Tuesday, Hill was told by the State Attorney’s Office it will seek the death penalty.

According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Hill, who cut his ankle monitor off and was on the run from the law, and co-defendant Victoria Ann Scifo, 20, were drifters who stayed a few days at a mobile home on Lori Loop Road in Keystone Heights. When Hill and Scifo were about to leave when they argued with Liza Dukes over clothes. Scifo and Dukes got into a fight, while Hill and Dukes’ boyfriend, Shayne Wooten also fought. Hill then shot Scifo in the back, killing her instantly. He also shot Shayne Wooten in the stomach and Wooten’s father, Jay Wooten, in the head. The father died a few days later.

Hill and Scifo reportedly pistol-whipped a man and stole his truck after the shooting. They eventually crashed in Bradford County following a high-speed pursuit.

Knife-wielding man arrested for pair of holdups

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A man was arrested for taking two ballpoint pens in a botched robbery attempt at the Walgreens.

Marvin Eugene Perry, 50, was charged on Feb. 2 by the Green Cove Springs Police Department for the Feb. 1 for shoplifting and attempted armed robbery of the drug store.

According to the arrest report, police were called after a man brandished a utility knife at the cashier while demanding the money from the cash register. When she refused, he took a two-pack of pens and left the store.

Perry fit the description of a man who an hour earlier used a knife to rob the Circle K store at 2000 State Road 16 in Green Cove Springs. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said he told the clerk to give him money from the register, but the clerk locked herself in the walk-in cooler with another employee. Perry left the store without taking anything, according to the arrest report.

Green Cove Springs officers eventually spotted Perry pumping gas at another Circle K at 1517 Idlewild Ave. the next day. He was identified by a witness from Walgreens and arrested.

A search of his SUV led to the recovery of an orange-handled utility knife, GCSPD said.

Perry was transferred to the Clay County Jail where he remains without bond.

Middleburg man killed in head-on crash on CR 315

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A 33-year-old Middleburg man was killed early Wednesday in a head-on collision on County Road 315 at Medinah Lane.

Robert Daniel Wagner died after his Honda Accord drifted into the southbound lane and slammed into an SUV driven by Lee Anthony Edmonson of Green Cove Springs.

The case is still being investigated, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

First-grade teacher buys methamphetamine at school

ORANGE PARK – A first grade teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary was arrested on Feb. 6 after she bought methamphetamine from a confidential informant during her lunch break.

Valerie Lee Prince, 43, of Orange Park, was charged with possession following an investigation conducted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Homeland Security and the Duval County School Police Department. Portions of her telephone call telling the informant when and where to bring the drug was released by CCSO.

According to the arrest report, Prince told the informant to bring the an “eight-ball” to her school. She paid $85 for the drug, CCSO said. Prince admitted to using both methamphetamine and cocaine, CCSO said.

Busted taillight leads to drug arrest for St. Pete woman

MIDDLEBURG – Sheriff deputies found methamphetamines, Fentanyl, marijuana and a woman convicted 10 times for driving with a suspended license Feb. 10 during a traffic stop for a broken taillight.

Jane Margaret Grote, 35, of St. Petersburg, was charged with drug possession and driving with a suspended license.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies found three plastic bags containing the methamphetamine, Fentanyl and marijuana in her purse while she was trying to retrieve her identification.

Grote was held on a $26,010 bond. She was given another citation for driving with a suspended license and a warning for the broken taillight.

Woman caught with heroin, pounds of marijuana

ORANGE PARK – A woman with more than 25 pounds or more than 300 of marijuana plants was arrested Feb. 5 after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office after she sold drugs to a confidential informant.

Lana Trecia Wade, 55, of Orange Park, was charged with trafficking and possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana, as well as trafficking heroin.

Her bond was set at $150,006.

According to the arrest report, deputies stopped her car immediately after she was seen selling drugs to the informant. Her license tag didn’t match the registration and she didn’t have a valid driver’s license.

Couple caught with fake money, methamphetamine

FLEMING ISLAND – Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies discovered $630 in counterfeit bills as well as methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop for an improper Indiana license tag.

Joseph Robert Davis, 40, of Green Cove Springs, was charged on Feb. 6 with possessing counterfeit bills and methamphetamine. The driver, Amanda Dawn Downs, 31, of Jacksonville, was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

According to the arrest report, Downs was stopped on U.S. Highway 17 at Eagle Crest Drive because deputies said she made her temporary tag with a magic marker.

CCSO employed the use of a drug-sniffing dog after Downs couldn’t produce her license. K-9 Chief alerted deputies to the likely presence of drugs. During the search, methamphetamine and six $50 bills, 10 $20 bills, six $10 bills and 14 $5 bills – all fake – were recovered.

CCSO: Man charged with choking, beating woman

ORANGE PARK – A Jacksonville man was in jail with a $150,014 bond after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said he beat and strangled a woman on Feb. 8.

Mitchell Lee Hall, 26, was charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, felony domestic battery by strangulation, burglary, obstructing justice and criminal mischief after an argument escalated into an attack.

The victim said he nearly passed out when Hall choked her after she was thrown to the floor. The victim also suffered bruises on her arm, neck and right temple, according to CCSO.

Neighbor charged with break-in while victim walks dog

FLEMING ISLAND – A 33-year-old woman was arrested for stealing a laptop after a man became suspicious a neighbor was breaking into his apartment while he walked his dog.

Colleen Mary Coughlin, of Fleming Island, was charged with burglary and grand theft of an item worth between $300-$4,999 on Feb. 7.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office was called after the victim noticed his laptop was missing when he returned from a walk. The victim already believed his medications were being taken when he wasn’t in his apartment at the Lighthouse at Fleming Island complex.

Rash of car break-ins end with man’s arrest

ORANGE PARK – A 19-year-old from Jacksonville was arrested Feb. 4 after Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies said he broke into at least 11 cars on Perthshire and Dunrobin drives.

Jayden T. Kannada was charged with 11 counts of burglary. His bond was set at $32,521.

Cash, cellphone, Florida Sunpass, two wallets, a ring, headphones, a computer mouse, credit card, identification card and a Kindle were among the items reported stolen.

Woman critical after being hit by car in GCS

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A 43-year-old homeless woman remained in critical condition after she was struck by a car on Feb. 4 while crossing U.S. Highway 17 near Harbor Drive.

Tammy Davis ran into traffic at 6:35 a.m. and was struck by a Nissan driven by Valerie Arlene Bush of Green Cove Springs, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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