Police briefs 1/24/19

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 1/23/19

Man charged with causing child to have brain bleedGREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Keystone Heights man faces charges of child neglect with great bodily harm after an investigation.The Clay County …

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Police briefs 1/24/19


Man charged with causing child to have brain bleed

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Keystone Heights man faces charges of child neglect with great bodily harm after an investigation.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Fred Maurice Nelson, 34, Jan. 16 after transporting him from the Putnam County Jail to the Clay County Jail to face charges.

The investigation dates back to April 6, 2018 when, police said, Nelson got into a verbal fight with his estranged wife in front of a child. CCSO did not state whether Nelson was the father or guardian of the child.

Nelson’s wife told police, that during the argument, Nelson “smelled of alcohol when he arrived that evening.”

According to the warrant, investigators found the child had a spiral fracture in the femur of its right leg and a slight brain bleed.

At press time, Nelson remains in the Clay County Jail with bond set at $30,558.

Animal cruelty charge for Middleburg woman

MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg woman faces charges of animal cruelty for allegedly shooting her neighbor’s dog with a pellet gun.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Crystal Lynn Cruce, 32, on Jan. 19 after an investigation and obtaining a warrant for her arrest.

The dog’s owner told police she discovered her terrier mix laying by her vehicle “bleeding from its side.”

The CCSO officer reported blood stains on the victim’s driveway but could not observe the dog “due to it being buried.”

Cruce is free from the Clay County Jail after posting a bond of $10,003.

Man arrested for using drugs while child in car

ORANGE PARK – Authorities charged an Orange Park area man with using narcotics with his child in the vehicle.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Levoy D. Bennett, 29, on Jan. 20 at 2:03 p.m. in the parking lot of the Orange Park Mall after an officer went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to conduct a routine check.

According to the police report, Bennett overdosed from some type of narcotic while a child approximately five-years-old sat unattended in the back seat of the sedan.

New Jersey man faces charges of battery on an EMT and child neglect.

Police said Bennet exited the car wearing only boxer shorts, “fell to the ground and started to roll around.”

As EMT’s attempted to place Bennett on a stretcher, he allegedly kicked one of the first responders in the groin.

Upon medical clearance, Bennet was transported to Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $5,002. He is charged with a felony charge of child neglect without great bodily harm and

A misdemeanor charge of violence on an EMT.

Two-car crash kills 72-year-old woman

FLEMING ISLAND – A two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 17 ended in the death of a 72-year-old St. Augustine woman on Jan. 17, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

FHP said Dallas McDowell, 69, of Middleburg, was heading south on U.S. 17 in a 2002 Dodge Ram truck when he failed to see a northbound 2017 Chevrolet Trax driving by Malvenia Raggins. FHP said the right front of McDowell’s truck struck Raggins’ Chevrolet when he tried to turn left into a housing development.

The Chevrolet overturned several times and came to a final rest in the grassy area on the northbound side of U.S. 17, while the Dodge ram came to final rest in the center lane of the highway.

FHP said charges are pending in the crash, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m. and tied up area traffic for about two hours.

Jacksonville sailor enters plea agreement in child sex case

JACKSONVILLE – A U.S. Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade from Jacksonville has entered a plea agreement in U.S. District Court involving charges he solicited a 12-year-old for sex using a cell phone.

According to court documents from the Middle District of Florida, U.S. District Court, Michael Douglas McNeil, 30, will be sentenced on March 25 for one count of attempted online enticement of a minor. When he was arrested last Aug. 30, he was originally charged with traveling to meet or use a computer to solicit a guardian, using a computer to solicit a parent or guardian for the consent of a minor and using a 2-way device to facilitate a felony.

Between now and the sentencing, if federal officials find no adverse reason to withdraw from the plea agreement, the agreement allows the court to lower McNeil’s charges down two levels to a lesser charge with a lesser sentence.

The agreement requires McNeil to plead guilty to enticing a child using a cell phone to engage in sex, admit that he understood the child was under age 18, and had the sex crime taken place as planned, he would have been charged under Florida law with lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 or older but younger than 16.

After sentencing, McNeil must also comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

From Aug. 27-30, 2018, Clay County Sheriff’s Office detective Christopher Garrison worked undercover to assume the role of an uncle who had custody of his 12-year-old deaf niece. He exchanged approximately 239 texts with McNeil before setting up a meeting with him at the Starbucks at the corner of Bolton Road and Blanding Boulevard.


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