Month: December 2019

Levy County Grand Jury Returns “True Bill” on 2004 Murder

December 11, 2019

The Grand Jury is comprised of citizens from Levy County and is assembled to hear the State’s evidence on capital cases such as murder. The Grand Jury is responsible to decide if the State has enough evidence to move forward with a criminal prosecution. The Grand Jury has two options, True Bill or No True Bill. The Grand Jury of Levy County was convened by State Attorney William P. Cervone on November 22, 2019 to hear the State’s evidence on a pending murder investigation. The Grand Jury returned a True Bill and an indictment, or warrant, was issued for the arrest of Solomon John Hall (12/19/70) of Chiefland.

Solomon “John” Hall has amassed thirteen arrests in Levy County beginning in 2000. He has been charged with a range of crimes including domestic violence, aggravated battery, theft, drug possession, DUI, violation of probation and methamphetamine production.  Hall is currently incarcerated in the Florida Department of Corrections after being sentenced on 5/15/2018 for manufacture of methamphetamines. He is scheduled to be released on 6/23/2024. This latest conviction is the fourth time Hall has been sentenced to state prison.

In 2018, Levy County Sheriff’s Office Detectives obtained information regarding Solomon John Hall and his involvement in the disappearance of Michael Randolph in 2004.  The information obtained surrounding Randolph’s disappearance launched the investigation. No report of Randolph’s disappearance was ever filed with law enforcement.

Detectives with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and Agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate. The investigation discovered evidence of Randolph’s disappearance and murder, which culminated in the issuance of the Grand Jury’s “True Bill.”

The evidence presented to the Grand Jury indicated that in 2004 Hall was heavily involved in the use of illegal drugs. In May of 2004 he met with Michael Randolph, a known drug dealer from Chiefland, to purchase drugs. Hall took Randolph to a secluded area south of Chiefland to make his purchase, but instead shot and killed him. Michael Randolph was not seen or heard from ever again.

Solomon “John” Hall, who was housed at the Marion Correctional Institute, has been transferred to the Levy County Detention Facility where he will be held with NO BOND pending his trial.

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is asking our public for assistance, as an investigation of this complexity and age is not over until the suspect is convicted. If anyone has information that would aid this investigation we ask you contact Detective Tim Rogers or Detective Rob Bowers at 352-486-5111. This investigation is being prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office in Levy County.

It’s nice to share or is it?

December 6, 2019

Sharing resulted in several new criminal charges for Carole Ann Heagney (3/13/88) of Trenton to include smuggling contraband into a detention facility. Heagney was not aware she would arrested when she went to her scheduled probation visit. So, on her way there she stopped to see her drug dealer and purchased methamphetamines and heroin. Because she was afraid the friends who gave her a ride to see her probation officer would steal her drugs, she decided to take them inside with her. Her probation officer would not let her leave because she had already violated the terms of her probation and was detained.

Deputies responded to the probation office and took Heagney into custody. Unbeknownst to our deputies, Heagney had her drugs well-hidden. Deputies delivered her to the Levy County Detention Facility and she was able to keep the drugs hidden and avoided its detection by detention staff. That is until other inmates discovered she had drugs with her. In Heagney’s efforts to keep detention staff from discovering her smuggled goods, she offered to share with her cellmates.

Three other inmates were bribed for their silence by Heagney, but this was all for naught. Detention staff was told about the drugs in the facility and after a brief search of Heagney’s cell the drugs were found. In all, 11 grams of methamphetamine of the 14 grams she had originally purchased was seized. The investigation by DTF Detective Rob Bowers discovered she was able to use the entire amount of heroin before staff was alerted.

Heagney added four more charges and a hefty $120,000.00 bond to her already existing violation of probation arrest. She will be held in the Levy County Detention Facility until her case proceeds to trial.

Two Violent Felons Arrested

December 2, 2019

On Sunday, December 1, 2019, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a concerned citizen reporting what was believed to be an impaired driver. The caller told dispatchers the vehicle pulled into a local gas station. Deputy Williamson responded to find a subject behind the wheel and when he checked the status of this person’s drivers license, things went downhill quickly for the driver and his passenger.

Deputy Williamson made a check on the license of “Rudolfo Diaz,” the name the driver gave him, and discovered Mr. Diaz may not be telling the whole truth. He never had a license in the United States and only had an ID from Mexico. Deputy Williamson had difficulties communicating with Diaz who did not speak English. With the assistance of the passenger, Melvin Granados, who helped translate, Diaz was arrested.

Deputy Williamson spoke to Melvin Granados after taking Mr. Diaz into custody and found some inconsistencies in his story too. The name Melvin Granados given to Deputy Williamson was also incorrect. Deputy Williamson continued to investigate to discover this man’s real name was Victor Granados and Victor had good reason to lie about his name.

Victor Granados is a wanted felon. Not only does Alachua County want him for a failing to appear in court in Gainesville, Florida, the State of Texas also has an active warrant for his arrest charging him with murder. Deputy Williamson worked diligently to verify this was in-fact an all-in-one person and was able to affect the arrest for both active warrants, taking this violent felon off of the streets in Levy County.

And, in honor of cyber Monday, a cyber tip was sent to the LCSO early this morning through Crime Stoppers. The tipster told LCSO that a violent felon was hiding in our community. Just prior to daylight today the LCSO Patrol Division and Detectives responded to an empty lot that only had travel trailer set up on the Bronson area. There they located and arrested Joshua R. Vestal (5/7/83), a wanted violent felon on the run from Indiana. Apparently Mr. Vestal fled Indiana after a gun fight with another person there. Vestal is prohibited from possessing a firearm and fled to avoid prosecution.

Both Granados and Vestal will be held in the Levy County Detention Facility until transfers can be arranged to the states to which they belong.