Murder/Suicide Investigation in Levy County

January 8, 2024

Levy County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported shooting on Friday, January 5, 2024 in Morriston. Deputies arrived on scene to discover a man and woman seated in a car at a residential location. Both appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds.

The subsequent investigation discovered the man, identified as Daniel Drake and woman, identified as Jeanette Pfleger had been involved in a long term dating relationship that was ending. Evidence suggests the Drake was able to convince the Pfleger to get into the car with him. This is when he took her life then attempted to take his own. The suspect was transported to a local trauma unit and has since died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

This investigation is still on-going as detectives are trying to piece together the final hours of this case before it became violent. This is a sad ending and the thoughts and prayers of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office are extended to all those effected by this senseless act of domestic violence.

Man Wanted in Multiple Counties Arrested

On December 19, 2023 Levy County Sheriff’s received information that the violent wanted felon Wyatt Morgan Arnow (8/14/97) of Williston could be located at an address near Morriston. Arnow is very familiar to Levy County law enforcement as well as his violent history. Arnow was wanted in Levy County, Alachua County and Citrus County for multiple violent felonies, some which included the use of a firearm and for failing to appear in court. He was currently out on bond in these three counties.

Deputies believed Arnow would resist all attempts of apprehension and devised a plan. Arnow was under surveillance at this location which offered limited access and few escape routes. This allowed Deputies to block all routes of escape, or so they thought.

Detectives and Uniformed Patrol Deputies set a trap and waited. Arnow drove away from the location and was intercepted by Detectives. Arnow immediately fled in the vehicle he was driving when Detectives attempted to stop him.  A short vehicle pursuit ensued.

Arnow, whose escape was blocked by Patrol Deputies, turned onto a dead end road. He abruptly slammed on the brakes and fled from his vehicle on foot with Detectives in pursuit. Arnow found a Polaris SxS at a nearby property with a key in it, and used it in his attempt to escape. He was quickly pursued by nearby waiting Deputies and his escape was blocked. Arnow then used the Polaris to ram the blocking patrol vehicle before fleeing a second time on foot. Patrol Deputies immediately gave chase.

Arnow, in this attempt to evade capture, was shot with a Taser. He continued to fight with deputies although the Taser initially incapacitated him. Three deputies struggled with him until he was ultimately cuffed.

Arnow was booked into the Levy County Detention Center on 12/19/23 and held in custody with no bond on the warrants. On 12/27/23 additional charges were filed by Detectives based on the incident when he was taken into custody. He now faces the additional charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, grand theft of a motor vehicle and other charges. His bond has been set at $835,000.00 for these charges.

Attempt to Identify

December 27, 2023

On 12/26/23 Levy County Deputies responded to two different reports of multiple vehicle burglaries in Williston. Deputies recovered surveillance footage from one location and we are asking the public for their assistance in identifying the suspects.

As seen in the photographs, the suspect vehicle is unique and we believe someone can identify either the car or the two people involved. Anyone who can provide information is asked to contact Detective Joe Barrera at 352-486-5111 ext. 265. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477. You could be eligible for a cash reward.

POP UP BLOCK PARTY ANTICIPATED

LCSO has received word from multiple sources that a “Pop Up” Block Party is being planned for the East Williston Area for the late night hours of Friday, December 22, 2023.  Deputies have reached out to community leaders and government officials in an attempt to convince potential organizers from bringing this activity back to our county. 

In the past, organizers have concealed the location of the planned parties to avoid detection by law enforcement.  The gathering, which may attract thousands of participants from throughout the state, then “Pops Up” to the surprise of citizens and law enforcement.  So far no location of the planned Block Party has been announced on social media. 

Similar gatherings have brought street blockages, noise complaints, open air drug usage and violence to Levy County.  In September of 2020 six people were shot during the “All Gas” Block Party in East Williston.  Those crimes remain unsolved. 

In June of 2023, a “Pop Up” party occurred in the town of Lake Butler.  During this event one person was shot, multiple businesses were closed and multiple law enforcement agencies were called on to restore peace. 

LCSO will use all available resources including the strict enforcement of the Levy County Noise Ordinance, to keep the peace and insure that everyone can enjoy the Christmas Holiday.  We request that anyone with information about potential illegal activity contact our office at 352-486-5111 or CrimeStoppers 1-877-349-8477.  We wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas!

Local Church Hosts Christmas Holiday Program

December 8, 2023

The Living Waters Church is hosting their Christmas Holiday program, “Walk to Bethlehem.”  This event is located at 4551 South East State Road 121, Morriston, FL and begins this Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. The celebration will continue each night beginning at 7:00 p.m. until December 23, 2023.

The event attracts many participants who will be parking adjacent to State Road 121 to attend. This is approximately 12 miles south of the Town of Williston. Motorists are asked to be cautious and slow their speed in and around this event as pedestrians will be present along the roadway. The Florida Department of Transportation will be installing message boards today alerting motorists.  Levy County Sheriff’s Office C.O.P. Volunteers will be posted in key locations in LCSO C.O.P vehicles with their amber overhead lights activated in addition to the message boards.

Three Students Overdose On Bus

December 7, 2023

Three Chiefland Middle/High School Students aged 15, 15, and 16 ingested a near fatal overdose of drugs before school. All three began suffering symptoms of the overdose as they arrived at school and were immediately taken to the on campus Medical building. These three students are assigned to the Focus program and do not have interaction with mainstream students, thankfully lessening the chances of others being exposed.

School Resource Deputy John Gulledge and EMS were contacted and responded to the Medical building. Deputy Gulledge utilized Narcan which revived one child and paramedics had to utilize Narcan on one of the other students. All three students have been transported by ambulance to a local hospital for further treatment and observation.

Levy County School officials alerted the parents of these students and immediately took precautions to ensure the safety of students in the impacted areas. Medical personnel checked the students who were present and none reported symptoms of exposure. 

This investigation is on-going by both the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and School Board officials. All three students are expected to make a full recovery but could be subject to both criminal charges as well as further discipline sanctions by the School Board.

Sex Offender Fails to Register, Later Flees from Deputies

December 5, 2023

Jason M. Key ((5/23/78) was convicted of crimes in Wisconsin in 2018 which designated him a sexual offender. Key has familial connections to the Bronson area of Levy County and in 2019 moved here. Key complied with all State of Florida Sex Offender registration requirements until he moved back to Wisconsin in 2021.

Deputies responded to a verbal altercation on 11/9/23 and learned that Key had returned to Levy County on October 28, 2023 and was living in a motor home. A check of his registration status revealed he failed to report his return to Levy County to the Sheriff’ Office as required and he continued to report to authorities in Wisconsin he was in their state. As a result of this intentional deception, Key was arrested on 10/30/23 for failure to comply with offender registration requirements. He was later released on bond with an order to complete his registration here in Florida. He later violated this court order.

On 12/1/23 sex offender compliance detectives located Key driving an RV on US Alt. 27 and attempted to stop him. Key accelerated away from detectives and attempted to elude them. His attempts were not successful so he ultimately stopped and surrendered.

A search of the RV was conducted after Key was taken into custody. Drug paraphernalia and crack cocaine were located inside the RV that Key told detectives belonged to him. Key was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender, fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia. He is currently being held in the Levy County Detention Center on a 55,000.00 bond.   

Missing Person-Guy Tindall

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance to locate Guy Tindall 3/3/48. Mr. Tindall was last seen yesterday at 4:00 p.m. on his property located at 7851 SW 132 Terrace Cedar Key. He was last seen wearing blue pants and an unknown color shirt. He is described as being 5-11″ tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds.

There is a heavy law enforcement presence in and around his property. Please avoid this area as first responders search for him.

Anyone who has information on his current whereabouts is asked to contact the Levy County Sheriff’s Office at 352-486-5111.

Adam Scott Sentenced to Life

October 26, 2023

On July 15, 2021 Levy County Deputies responded to a domestic violence call in Williston. Deputies learned the victim fled her home located in Morriston after being physically abused by Adam John Scott (12/1/80). Deputies responded to the Morriston home and upon their arrival encountered Scott in the yard. Scott was armed with a handgun and immediately opened fire at the four responding deputies.

Scott evaded capture for approximately 24 hours before being apprehended. Scott has been held in the Levy County Detention Center since his arrest.

On Monday, October 23, 2023 this case was taken to trial. The trial concluded on October 26, 2023 when the jury returned the verdict of guilty on four counts of First Degree Attempted Murder of Law Enforcement. Circuit Judge William Davis immediately imposed sentence after the verdict was read and sentenced Adam John Scott to LIFE in prison.

Sheriff McCallum had this comment upon hearing the verdict; “This is another example of what our Deputies and all Law Enforcement Officers are potentially subject to each day. I am so thankful that my four deputies survived this incident while trying to protect and serve our citizens and the victim in this case. While there is always an emotional toll that comes with the duty of serving our citizens, I am grateful that ALL of them are ALIVE and able to heal from this incident. I want to thank our State Attorney’s Office and the Prosecutors that presented a professional and thorough case to the Jury. I would also like to thank the Jurors for their dedicated attention to the evidence in this case and for their service to our citizens.”  

Final Defendant Pled to 2022 Homicide

October 25, 2023

In August of 2022 five individuals conspired to commit a home invasion robbery in Rosewood. Their robbery attempt failed when they were met by the armed homeowner. The homeowner and perpetrators exchanged gunfire resulting in one of the suspects being shot. The homeowner did not suffer any injuries.

The armed assailants fled the scene toward Gainesville, ultimately dropping off their injured companion at the Kanapaha ER Center on Archer Road. The assailant did not survive his injuries.

Three of the four surviving suspects entered into negotiated plea agreements with the State of Florida in May and July of this year.

  • Jerry Cordel Clanton (7/23/92) of Gainesville pled to 15 years in DOC.
  • Ocean Carey Dunn (5/4/98) of Morriston pled to 10 years in DOC.
  • Aonesty Torriana Smith (11/29/2000) of Gainesville pled to 10 years on DOC.

The final defendant, Theriyus Leequina Banks, 8/7/98 of Gainesville, accepted a plea offer of 20 years in the Florida Department of Corrections on October 11, 2023.

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office partnered in this investigation with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Quick action and exceptional investigative efforts resulted in the quick apprehension of these four dangerous individuals which has now resulted on long incarceration terms for each of them.