Police Briefs 051117

Clay Today
Posted 5/11/17

Sheriff asks for public’s help

OAKLEAF – Detectives with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office are looking for three suspects in connection with the theft of an ATM card.

Police said on April …

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Police Briefs 051117


Sheriff asks for public’s help

OAKLEAF – Detectives with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office are looking for three suspects in connection with the theft of an ATM card.

Police said on April 22 at 3 p.m., a victim’s purse was stolen from her unlocked vehicle while parked at the Oakleaf Soccer Fields at 370 Oakleaf Village Pkwy.

Within an hour, a black male suspect in a silver car used the victim’s debit card and attempted to withdraw $400 from a bank ATM machine.

Six days late, on April 28, two white females in a brown or bronze 2004 – 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix used the same card and tried to withdraw $2,000 from an ATM machine at a credit union.

Residents who have information or can identify the suspects, are asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at (904) 264-6512.

Convicted felon gets new life sentence

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – An Oakleaf man is in the Clay County Jail awaiting transfer to a Florida prison after receiving a life sentence for first degree murder.

Fourth Circuit Court Judge John H. Skinner sentenced Adrian Bernard Seward, 48, to life in prison without parole for the July 25, 2013 shooting death of his late wife, Lashawna Criswell-Seward, 37, at her home at 3787 Pondview St. in Oakleaf.

Seward’s sentence was handed down April 13 after he entered a plea agreement with the State Attorney’s Office. He was also sentenced to a concurrent 15-year sentence for one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Having been in the county jail since his July 18, 2013 arrest, Seward was given credit for 1,356 days served.

Initially, the state attorney was going to seek the death penalty for Seward, however, on January 19, 2016, Public Defender Matt Shirk filed papers asking the state to seek a life sentence instead. Shirk’s request came in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found Florida’s capital sentencing scheme violates the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires a jury, not a judge, to find each fact necessary to impose a verdict of death.

According to the arrest warrant, Seward and his wife were going through a divorce when the shooting took place. After the murder, he fled Clay County, but was arrested three days later by U.S. Marshals at an Extended Stay America motel in Jacksonville.

There is no timetable available as to when Seward will be transported to state prison. In January 1998, Jacksonville Judge Henry Cook sentenced Seward to 10 years in state prison for one count each of burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gun threat ends in arrest

ORANGE PARK – A case of borderline road rage ended last weekend with an Orange Park area man’s arrest.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested William Allen J. Jordan, 55, on May 6 at 1:27 p.m. after an investigation.

Police responded to the 1200 block of Blanding Boulevard to interview the victim who said Jordan pulled out a revolver in traffic and pointed it at him with family members in the car with him.

The victim told police that the incident began at the Kingsley Avenue and Blanding intersection when the victim attempted to change lanes to turn south on Blanding. The victim said Jordan would not allow him to merge into the left lane “causing him to pull behind the defendant,” states the report.

The said, while at the traffic light, Jordan “stuck his hand outside of the driver side window and gestured the motion of shooting a gun while staring at him in his vehicle’s mirror.”

When the victim and Jordan were late side by side near the Belmont Avenue intersection, the victim said Jordan pulled out the gun, which “placed fear him in fear of his life and in fear for the safety of his family.”

Jordan was booked into the Clay County Jail on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is free on bond.

Dog theft arrest in Keystone Heights

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – What began as an early evening dog walk ended in a case of grand theft on May 6 for a Keystone Heights woman.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Carole Ann Ballard, 62, on May 6 at 8:36 p.m. after conducting an investigation that began in the 6000 block of Baylor Avenue.

According to the police report, the victim told police she was out walking her Pomeranian named Prince when a vehicle pulled in front of her and stopped. The victim said two males and Ballard got out of the car and called for Prince to come to them, which he did because, as the victim stated, he is a friendly dog.

The victim ran towards the dog’s captors who made her fall when she was trying to grab her dog. She told police she heard the dog yelp and cry as they snatched him up and took him away before getting back in the vehicle and speeding off.

According to police, the victim and Ballard have had numerous run-ins over who actually owns custody of the dog.

“…the State Attorney’s Office advised that the victim being in possession of the dog was not theft as the dog was lost approximately a year and a half ago.” The victim said she feared Ballard as Ballard had threatened to burn down her house if she did not return the dog.

Ballard was charged with one count of unarmed robbery and was booked into the Clay County Jail where, at press time, she remained with bond set at $25,003.

Argument ends in taser, arrest

CLAY HILL – A Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy had to use a taser over the weekend to subdue a man after a domestic incident in which he shot into the walls of a home in Clay Hill.

Police arrested Christian John Bruce, 40, on May 5 at 2:01 a.m. after conducting an investigation regarding Bruce and his live-in girlfriend of three years.

According to the police report, the argument started when Bruce accused the victim of cheating on him with another man. When police arrived on the scene in the 6000 block of Somerset Court, they had to use a taser to get Bruce to comply to being handcuffed at the scene.

The victim told police that Bruce took her cell phone and tablet and threw them in the washing machine and turned it on causing an estimated $900 worth of damage. He then left the house where he allegedly went into the victim’s car and turned the car’s lights off and on repeatedly while she folded laundry and locked him out of the house.

She told police that Bruce then proceeded to bang on the front door and shout for her to let him back in.

“After a short period of time, the victim heard a loud ‘bang’ sound she associated with the discharge of a firearm. The victim retreated to the rear of the house, because she was in fear for her life,” states the CCSO report.

She was able to call 911 using Bruce’s cell phone he had left on top of the washing machine. At the scene, police found the spend ammo cartridges and saw the bullet hole in the front of the home.

Bruce faces one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, simple domestic battery, shooting into a dwelling or vehicle, resisting an officer and vandalism $201-999.

At press time, he remained in the Clay County Jail with bond set at $106,512.

Pedestrian death under investigation

JACKSONVILLE – The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a bizarre traffic accident involving a pedestrian and a Middleburg man.

Police said the unidentified man’s body was laying in the outside lane of Interstate 95 northbound near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on May 5 at 2:49 a.m. when the investigation began.

According to the FHP press release, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls about a pedestrian in the I-95 travel lanes. Police said Tyler Michael Towne, 22, of Middleburg attempted to stop prior to striking the pedestrian with the front of his 1996 Ford Mustang.

Officials transported the pedestrian to UF Health Shands hospital in Jacksonville where he was pronounced dead at 3:32 a.m.

FHP closed the northbound lanes of I-95 in order to conduct an investigation.

Officials said they are withholding the pedestrian’s name until next of kin have been notified and are still investigating to determine why he was in the roadway.

Lunging at cop ends in arrest

MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man faces a charge of simple assault on a law enforcement officer after a fracas that took place May 4 around 2 a.m.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ricky Lamar Manning, 59, while responding to a house fire at Manning’s home at 2921 Blanding Blvd.

According to the police report, when officers arrived at the fire involving a single-wide mobile home that was fully-engulfed in flames, Manning was “extremely intoxicated” and “engaged me in a violent manner,” states the report.

The arresting officer said he warned Manning several times to step back but he would not comply. Police said Manning then lunged at the officer’s face, which caused him to “disengage from him, which caused Manning to fall on his back onto the ground.

After Manning got up from the ground, he began walking from the officer as the officer told him he needed to stay for questioning regarding how the trailer caught on fire. However, Manning “became irate and positioned himself into a fighting stance.”

According to the report, Manning walked towards the officer in a fighting stance with both fists by his side. As Manning began to reach into his right pants pocket, the officer performed a “straight kick with my right foot to the chest area of the Defendant causing him to fall on the ground and strike his head against the asphalt,” states the report. Manning received a small laceration on the back of his head, but refused treatment from Fire and Rescue crew members who were on the scene.

Manning was examined at Orange Park Medical Center whose staff cleared him for booking into the Clay County Jail. Along with simple assault on an officer, Manning faces one count of resisting an officer without violence. His bond was set at $2,502.

911 hang-up ends in arrest

ORANGE PARK – What began as a 911 call hang-up ended last week in an arrest for a Jacksonville man.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Lavell Aferenee Graham, 21, on May 4 at 5:35 a.m. after conducting an investigation.

According to the police report, officers arrived at the apartment in the 400 block of Bentwood Lane near Orange Park where they first heard muffled voices. Officers stood at the door and dialed the number to the apartment to try and get someone to answer the door, but no one answered.

“After multiple attempts, I heard a loud high pitched scream and then did not hear any other noise from the apartment,” states the police report. The responding officer then got supervisory permission to kick the door open and enter.

Police said the incident began when Graham and his former live-in girlfriend got into an argument in which he accused her of being with another man. However, police said that Graham has a no-contact order against him pertaining to the victim because of a prior domestic abuse case.

Police said, that during the fight, Graham took the victim to a back bedroom and choked her until she could not breathe. She later broke away and called 911, but was only able to say she needed help before Graham “grabbed the phone from her hand and shut off the phone.”

“When I arrived, the defendant covered the victim’s mouth so she could not yell,” according to the report. Graham also prevented the victim from leaving or calling police.

During the investigation, officers also confiscated a baggie containing marijuana.

Graham faces one count each of assault and battery during burglary, false imprisonment of an adult, felony battery, domestic battery, possession of not more than 20 g. cannabis and witness tampering. He was booked into the Clay County Jail, where at press time, he remained held without bond.

Mandarin man gets 30-year sentence

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County judge has sentenced a Mandarin man to 30 years in prison for second degree murder.

Fourth Circuit Court Judge John H. Skinner sentenced Arthur Anthony “Tony” Grossie, 50, of Jacksonville, for the November 7, 2014 murder of Paul N. Trossevin, 50, that occurred at Trossevin’s Lake Asbury home in the 3000 block of Silverado Circle. Skinner sentenced Grossie on April 5. He is now in Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler awaiting transfer to a long-term facility.

According to the arrest warrant, at 6:54 p.m. on November 7, 2014, Grossie and Trossevin had been on the phone disagreeing about something related to a business they co-owned in Jacksonville. About 50 minutes, at 7:40 p.m., after the phone conversation ended, Grossie arrived at Trossevin’s home to continue the argument about accounting software they used for the business.

Trossevin’s wife told the Clay County Sheriff’s Office that a physical struggle took place at the front door and she walked toward the front door while their daughter attempted to call 911.

“Before she got to the door she heard what she believed to be a single gunshot,” states the warrant. His wife said she heard at least three gunshots from a .40-caliber handgun.

Police said Grossie, who was actively trying to retrieve the handgun until he was handcuffed, received self-inflicted gunshot wounds and was air-lifted to UF Health Shands hospital in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Trossevin was pronounced dead at the scene by Clay County Fire and Rescue at 7:58 p.m.


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