Reservist’s death ruled accidental, from heat exposure JACKSONVILLE – The Duval County Medical Examiner determined heat exposure to be the cause of death for an Alabama Army Reserve …
Reservist’s death ruled
accidental, from heat exposure
JACKSONVILLE – The Duval County Medical Examiner determined heat exposure to be the cause of death for an Alabama Army Reserve member who was found dead last month at Camp Blanding.
Chief Medical Examiner Valerie Rao determined 25-year-old Cayln McLemore’s death was accidental. He was found dead in the woods on June 22 after disappearing from a training exercise at Camp Blanding.
On June 20, officials reported that McLemore went missing after being with about 70 other soldiers on a course designed to test their navigation skills through heavy vegetation.
The June search included air units that used heat signature programs to try and pick up McLemore’s signature, but no such signature was found. Officials did, however, find McLemore’s missing map and score card in a wooded area near the exercise. More than 500 responders helped with the search on foot, horseback, helicopter and other vehicles.
McLemore was taking part in a land navigation training session on the base and was scheduled to return at 11 a.m. on June 20 while wearing a full uniform. He was equipped with a navigation tool, a map and basic food and water.
During the search, McLemore’s gear was found as rain hampered search efforts.
Whistleblower case settled for $1.2 million
JACKSONVILLE – A 2015 whistleblower suit alleging Jacksonville-based Liberty Ambulance Service Inc. committed fraudulent billing practices is now settled for $1.2 million.
A multi-year investigation that involved intervention from various U.S. government agencies reviewed Liberty Ambulance billing dating from June 29, 2005, to January 2016.
In reaching the settlement announced July 10, the parties resolved allegations that Liberty Ambulance knowingly up-coded claims for life support services from “Basic” to “Advanced” without justification, unnecessarily transported patients, and unnecessarily transported patients to their homes in an emergent fashion.
“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to taking the steps necessary to protect Medicare, TRICARE, and other federal healthcare programs from fraud and abuse,” said Maria Chapa Lopez, U.S. Attorney. “Whenever founded, our Office will vigorously pursue these cases and recover taxpayers’ money.”
“When health care providers participate in fraudulent billing schemes in order to increase profits, they steal from the pockets of the taxpayer and jeopardize federal healthcare programs,” said Shimon Richmond, special agent in charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to hold such providers accountable.”The settlement involved false claims submitted to Medicare, TRICARE, Medicaid and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program managed by the Office of Personnel Management. The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. This case was initiated by the filing of a qui tam lawsuit filed by Shawn Pelletier, a former employee of Liberty Ambulance. Pelletier collected more than $1.2 million in proceeds from prior settlements, and will receive approximately $264,000 from the present settlement with Liberty.
1 Robbery arrest, 1 flees scene
ORANGE PARK – A Jacksonville woman faces robbery charges after a theft incident Monday at the Bealls store at 510 Blanding Blvd. near Orange Park, however, her accomplice fled the scene.
Police arrested Key’iera Nicole Thomas, 26, on July 9 at 11:10 a.m. after witnesses said she went to the jewelry section, removed a bottle of perfume valued at $63 and concealed it in her purse.
According to the police report, both the loss prevention manager at Bealls and the store manager attempted to approach Thomas and an accomplice, “but they both fled on foot in separate directions.”
Police said Thomas fled the store with the merchandise still in her purse while being chased by the store manager. Meanwhile, the accomplice – which the police report does not state was a man or a woman – “doubled back” and began chasing the store manager.
According to the report, the accomplice struck the store manager from behind, “which allowed [Thomas] to get away with the merchandise.”
Police finally captured Thomas in the parking lot after she dropped her purse while trying to escape. Thomas’ accomplice is still on the loose after having fled the scene driving a “dark colored Jeep Cherokee.” At press time, Thomas remained in the Clay County Jail where her bond is set at $17,505.
Orange Park man charged
with elder abuse
ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park man faces charges of elder abuse after an investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Police arrested Thomas Wayne Reedy, 52, on July 7 at 11:21 a.m. after he allegedly dragged the elderly victim down a hallway and threw her in a bed.
According to the police report, the victim – whose age was redacted from the police report – had bruises on her wrists and rug burns on her back.
Police said the alleged attack occurred shortly after the victim fell on the floor because she had difficulty walking. Instead of picking up the woman, police said, Reedy grabbed her by the wrists and dragged her down a hallway.
The reporting officer stated that the victim’s left hand was badly swollen and appeared to have been broken.
It is unclear Reedy’s relationship to the victim, however, police stated Reedy lived in a camper parked next to the victim’s home. Police booked Reedy into the Clay County Jail where he remained at press time with bond set at $75,003.
PVC pipe attack ends in arrest
MIDDLEBURG – Bond is set at $50,003 for a Middleburg man accused of smashing a vehicle windshield with a PVC pipe on July 5.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Garrett Jarod Longmire, 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of Longmire Road after responding to a call regarding criminal mischief.
According to the police report, the victim said he was sitting in his vehicle on nearby Mango Lane when Longmire allegedly approached his car and threw a 5-pound weight at his windshield despite not having provoked Longmire or gotten into an argument with him.
Police said the, that after the attack, the victim left the area on Mango Lane and went to his home on Longmire but, but Longmire followed him and swung a PVC pipe that had a water spout on the end of it at his windshield “causing additional damage.” Police did not estimate the value of the property damage. At press time, Longmire remained in the Clay County Jail.