A 29-year-old Ocala, Florida man was booked into Marion County jail shortly before noon on Thursday on charges including elderly abuse, theft from a person over 65 and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The man allegedly admitted to locking up an older man on his property and kicking him out of a car and leaving him injured on the side of the road.
According to the Ocala Star Banner, a Sherriff’s deputy went to Ocala Regional Medical Center on April 5, 2011 to interview a 70-year-old man who told the official that he and his 40-year-old wife of 18-years had moved to Ocala in October 2010. The man was supposedly taken to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville in January, where he was treated for a medical condition and then released to a nursing home.
The man’s wife allegedly removed him from the nursing home later that month and moved him into a shed in Ocala, which he said had no running water.
The man supposedly told police his wife handled his money and had exchanged his debit card and food stamp card to the 29-year-old Ocala man for his living in the shed. The elderly man said his wife has a drug habit and the Ocala man is an alleged drug dealer.
The elderly man’s wife was stopped by police in February for a traffic violation where she was arrested on a violation of probation warrant out of Maine. She was extradited to that state.
The elderly man told police that once his wife was gone the Ocala man supposedly held him hostage and threatened him with a firearm. The elderly man said that on one occasion he requested his debit card and food stamp card back from the Ocala man while riding as a passenger in his car. The Ocala man allegedly became so angry he stopped the car, pushed the elderly man out, poured beer over his head and left him on the side of the road.
A passer-by saw the elderly man in the road and took him to a nearby store. The police were called and he was taken to ORMC. The elderly man was unable to identify the Ocala man by his real name and did not know the exact location of his home. The elderly man later identified the Ocala man through a photographic line up.
A search warrant was obtained for the Ocala man’s home where police found items such as a gun and some drugs. The Ocala man allegedly admitted locking the elderly man up on the property, and kicking him out of a vehicle.
He was arrested and officials say there could be more charges pending.
If you are a convicted felon in Florida, your right to bear arms is restricted and it is unlawful for you to possess a gun. If you were convicted outside of Florida of a felony that carried a sentence of one or more years behind bars, you cannot gain eligibility to possess a gun in Florida. Additionally, if you were convicted as a minor of an act that would have been a felony charge had you been tried as an adult, you cannot own a gun. If you are found to have a firearm in your home, vehicle or on your person, you could face prison and parole violation charges.
Under Florida Statute Section 790.23, a prosecutor can challenge that you possessed a firearm or weapon either through actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means that the firearm was found on your person, while constructive possession is when a weapon was found in your house or vehicle. The charge of felony possession of a firearm is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Likewise, if the prosecutor can prove actual possession then the offense carries with it a three year minimum mandatory prison term.
If you have been charged with any kind of firearm, gun or weapon charge, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 352-369-5334 or 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).