Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties
Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties

Newsroom

Citrus County Man Sentenced to 15 Years for DUI Manslaughter

Kevin Cason, a 54-year-old resident of Citrus County, has pleaded no contest to charges of DUI Manslaughter in a case stemming from a tragic incident in 2021 that resulted in the death of a Homosassa man. Cason accepted a plea agreement that includes a 15-year prison sentence.

The incident occurred on September 22, 2021, when Cason was driving his red Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck after consuming alcoholic beverages at a local Eagles Club. Traveling westbound on Grover Cleveland Blvd., Cason collided with the rear end of a Ford Excursion driven by William Cumbie. Cumbie lost his life in the accident, while his wife, who was also in the vehicle, survived.

According to Florida Highway Patrol troopers who investigated the scene, Cason’s driving was described as reckless in their report. Witnesses noted that he had left the local bar just minutes before the crash. Blood tests confirmed that Cason was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

At sentencing, the surviving victims shared their heartfelt accounts of how this tragic event profoundly affected their lives. Following Cason’s plea of no contest, Citrus County Circuit Judge Joel D. Fritton sentenced him to 15 years in prison, to be followed by a probation period. Assistant State Attorney Blake Shore prosecuted the case.

Posted on 6/1/2023

Three Indictments Announced in Marion County Triple Homicide

OCALA, FL – State Attorney, William “Bill” Gladson, announces the grand jury indictments of Robert Robinson, Tahj Brewton, and Christopher Atkins. All three defendants will be charged as adults in Marion County Circuit Court. Robinson and Brewton were indicted on three counts of first-degree murder and Atkins was indicted on one count of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of three Marion County juveniles. The defendants were also indicted on charges of robbery with a firearm and tampering with physical evidence.

The bodies of the three juvenile victims were found between March 30th and April 1st, 2023, in different locations in Ocklawaha, Florida. The first victim was discovered lying unconscious near a dumpster on March 30th after being shot in the head. She was transported to the hospital and died from her injuries. The second victim was found dead the following morning on the side of the road with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The third victim was found dead in the trunk of a vehicle on April 1st. She had been shot two times and murdered while in the trunk of the vehicle.

Sheriff Billy Woods and his detectives with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office worked diligently to investigate the case and apprehend the defendants responsible for these heinous crimes. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and United States Marshall’s Office provided evidence linking the defendants to the murders and assisted with the apprehension of a suspect. All three defendants are currently being held on no bond in the Marion County Jail.

William “Bill” Gladson was elected State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit in November 2020 and took office January 2021. He is a former law enforcement officer and career prosecutor with over 20 years of trial experience. As State Attorney, Gladson leads a team of over 250 employees who serve the citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties, an area encompassing more than 1.2 million people.

TripleHomicide_PressRelease

Posted on 5/16/2023

Life Sentence for Sumter County Murder

In April, a Sumter County jury announced the conviction of Lorenzo Green for the murder of a local resident and the attempted murder of his girlfriend.
In December of 2019, Lorenzo Green traveled up to Bushnell from South Florida, broke into the victim’s home and used a firearm to fatally shoot him. He then turned the gun on the victim’s girlfriend, shooting her repeatedly. The victim survived the attack and helped to provide evidence that identified Green as the perpetrator.

Along with the surviving victim’s account, the prosecution used phone records that traced Green’s path from South Florida to Sumter County, where he later burned the vehicle he used during the commission of the crime. The jury found Green guilty of First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm, Burglary of a Dwelling, Grand Theft Auto, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

At the sentencing hearing, Circuit Judge Mary Hatcher sentenced Green to life in prison for First Degree Murder and two counts of life in prison as a Prison Releasee Offender for Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm, and Burglary of a Dwelling. Green was also sentenced to a concurrent 5 years for Grand Theft Auto and 15 years for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Sonny McCathran and Dan Geraghty.

Posted on 5/12/2023

Citrus County Man Gets Maximum Sentence for DUI Manslaughter

David Kahler, 38, was found guilty of DUI manslaughter in the 2022 death of a woman in Citrus County. He was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

On January 22, 2022, Kahler was driving a white Ford F250 heading southbound on State Road 200. Kahler was just south of the Marion County line when he swerved into the northbound lane, causing two vehicles to swerve off the road. He then caused a head-on collision with a third vehicle, driven by Stephanie Lescht, who was killed a result of the crash. Lescht’s vehicle turned counterclockwise from the impact and struck the vehicle that was directly behind Letsch. The occupants of that vehicle, a mother and child, survived the crash. 

Several witnesses, including the Florida Highway Patrol troopers on scene, testified about the impaired state Kahler was in at the time of the crash. Blood tests showed that the defendant was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana.

At sentencing, surviving victims spoke about how this event has impacted their lives and requested a harsher sentence for Kahler. Citrus County Circuit Judge Joel D. Fritton sentenced Kahler to the maximum prison term of 15 years. This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Blake Shore.

Posted on 4/12/2023

Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial Authority

Samuel Padilla-Velez has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a Child Under 16 and Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial Authority. Padilla-Velez was found guilty at trial of sexually assaulting a family member over a period of four years who was under his care and authority.

The evidence in the case consisted of the victims’ statements, forensic evidence found on the child’s bed sheets, her ability to describe the defendant’s genitals, and a spontaneous statement of the defendant that “it was not forced.” Expert witnesses and Law Enforcement were able to confirm the victim’s testimony.

The defendant was sentenced by Hernando County Circuit Judge Daniel Merritt, who emphasized the severity of the crime and the lasting impact it has on the victim and their family. The victim requested for the defendant to be spared the maximum sentencing. The judge took the victims wishes into consideration upon sentencing and stated that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Angelina Rodeo.

Sex Offender Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Video Voyeurism

Stephen A Crotty, 38, was sentenced to ten years in prison followed by five years of sex offender probation after pleading guilty to Video Voyeurism Against a Child Younger than 16 by a Person 24 Years of Age or Older and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

This case began when the mother of the victim discovered a naked photo of her child on the defendant’s cell phone that was taken using a hidden camera. The mother confronted the defendant about the photo and then contacted law enforcement. Although the defendant was aware that law enforcement was called, the defendant deleted the photo.

At the sentencing hearing, the state asked the judge to sentence the defendant to 10 years in prison followed by probation, while the defense requested a probationary sentence. The Court heard testimony from numerous state and defense witnesses. One witness for the defense was a clinically certified sex offender treatment specialist that testified that the defendant “would be an adequate candidate for sex offender probation.” Hernando County Circuit Judge Stephen Toner sided with the prosecution and sentenced the defendant to 10 years followed by 5 years sex offender probation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Lisa Yeager.

Sumter County Woman Given Maximum Sentence for Second-Degree Murder

Penny Rebecca Pospisil, a 51-year-old woman from Sumter County, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and dismemberment of her physically disabled boyfriend.

During the summer of 2018, while staying at the Lake Pan RV Village in Sumter County, Pospisil murdered her boyfriend, 55-year-old Anthony Mitchell.  She then relocated, with Mitchell’s body, to Brevard County where she lived for five months in a recreational vehicle.

Pospisil was arrested on December 30, 2019, after neighbors reported a malodorous smell coming from the RV. During the case it was revealed that Pospisil cut up Mitchell’s remains and kept them in her camper for nearly six months before she was caught and transported back to Sumter County to face charges.

Pospisil ultimately pled guilty, and Circuit Judge Mary P. Hatcher gave her the maximum sentence on all three counts. She will serve life in prison for second-degree murder, and consecutive sentences of 15 years for abuse of a dead human body, and five years for grand theft of more than $300 but less than $20,000.

This case was prosecuted by Daniel Geraghty and Donald McCathran.

 Posted March 7, 2023. 

Citrus County Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Animal Cruelty

Jason Dion Munn, 48, was sentenced to nine years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to 21 counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty. Munn operated one of Citrus County’s largest dog breeders.

Between April 5 and April 8, 2022, Munn surrendered 15 dogs to the Citrus County Animal Shelter. Based on the condition of the surrendered dogs, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office went to Munn’s breeding facility with a search warrant to determine the condition of his remaining dogs. During the search, 56 dogs were seized. Many were emaciated, including several pregnant and nursing mothers. Some of the dogs were confined in small kennels while others had no access to either food or water. In addition to the live animals, one dead and decomposing puppy, still lying next to his mother, and several other dead dogs or parts of dogs were recovered.

Munn was charged and pled guilty to 21 counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty. On February 23, 2023, The Honorable Judge Fritton sentenced Munn to 108 months in the Department of Corrections, followed by a term of home confinement of 12 months. Munn was also ordered to never own any animals again. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Patricia Diaz.

State Attorney Bill Gladson recently established an Animal Cruelty Task Force for Citrus, Hernando, Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties. The goal of the task force is for law enforcement, animal services, and other animal protection organizations to work together to effectively investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes throughout the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

Posted February 24, 2023

Missouri Man Found Guilty of DUI Manslaughter

Joseph Lindsey Charles Bailey, 36, was found guilty of DUI manslaughter in the 2019 death of a woman. The Marion County jury deliberated less than three hours before returning a verdict.

In March of 2019, Bailey was driving a Ford Focus east on State Road 40. In front of Bailey’s vehicle was a three-wheel motorcycle, driven by Barbara Margaret. The Ford struck the back of the motorcycle, and it was launched into the opposite lane, where it sideswiped a Buick Enclave. Margaret was thrown from the bike onto the grassy shoulder where she passed away.

Several witnesses, including experts, testified about the impaired state Bailey was in at the time of the crash. The evidence showed that the defendant was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.

Circuit Judge Robert Hodges sentenced Bailey to a 130-month prison term, followed by two years of probation. Assistant State Attorney Katrina Self prosecuted the case.

Grand Jury Indictment Announced in Mount Dora Double Homicide

State Attorney’s Office announces the indictment of Vickie Lynn Williams on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of grand theft.

 

Darryl and Sharon Getman were found murdered in their home in Mt. Dora on December 31, 2022. A team of investigators from the Mount Dora Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the Lake County Sherriff’s Office worked together to identify Vickie Lynn Williams as the suspect in this case. Analysts from FDLE’s Orlando crime lab were instrumental in the investigation, providing critical evidence linking Williams to the crime scene. On January 2nd, 2023, Williams was arrested in Savannah, Georgia and is currently being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond.

 

William “Bill” Gladson was elected State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit in November 2020 and took office January 2021. He is a former law enforcement officer and career prosecutor with over 20 years of trial experience. As State Attorney, Gladson leads a team of over 250 employees who serve the citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties, an area encompassing more than 1.2 million people.