This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Wrecks in Putnam and St. Johns counties Friday left two dead. In Florahome Friday a 47-year-old resident died in a car accident on State Road 100. Pending notification of next of kin, Florida Highway Patrol has not released the name of the victim who was driving a 2011 GMC 1500 west on 100 when he veered onto the north shoulder then overcorrected causing the car to rotate counterclockwise and into the path of a semi headed east. The semi partially jackknifed and the GMC ended on the south shoulder. The semi driver, Lewin R. Martinez, 38, of Jacksonville, was not injured. Near Hastings Friday night another accident killed one individual and injured two others in a head-on collision on County Road 13 South. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says one of the cars failed to stay in its lane and hit the other vehicle head on. The car that came into the other lane overturned on impact and then caught fire. One person inside died. The two people in the other car suffered serious injuries and were taken to area hospitals. Names have not been released.
Flagler County Sheriff’s offices executed a search warrant Friday relating to a murder Oct. 12 at the Circle K convenience store at 1500 Palm Coast Parkway. Sheriff’s Office says multiple persons of interest were discovered during the investigation, some living in the residence on Berkshire Lane where the warrant was served. Sheriff Rick Staley said “ It’s time for them to decide whether they want to be a witness or a defendant.” During the shooting Deon O’Neal Jenkins was murdered in the parking lot at the Palm Coast store. The other victim was shot several times but survived. The investigation continues.
Facebook proved a help to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Friday. Two hours after they posted his photo Cody Smith, 18, of Interlachen was in custody on an arrest warrant for burglary and grand theft in October. They suspect him in other burglaries and say a tip led to his arrest. In a second incident posting video of two burglary suspects on Wednesday led to arrests as well. Christopher Isaac Williams, 28, of Pomona Park, and Thomas Aaron Schltz, 41, of Melrose, were quickly identified. Williams was arrested the same day driving a green Blazer similar to one in the video. The next day deputies located and arrested Schultz. Both men face charges and were taken to the Putnam County jail.
St. Augustine Beach residents near 12th Lane aren’t happy. Their neighbors, Dr. James and Grace Grimes, have secured permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and removed two-story high sand dunes in front of their house. In 2017 the Grimes tried the same thing but without permits and were made to replace the sand, which acts as a barrier to the ocean. The Grimes reportedly want a better view of the ocean from their house.
St. Augustine city commissioners take up a variety of issues at their meeting tonight but short-term rental regulations won’t be on the agenda. The commission is waiting for recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board. They’ve also been contacted by lawyers for owners who rent out residences.
Putnam County commissioners Tuesday are expected to pass a resolution making Putnam County a Second Amendment Sanctuary. The resolution is one of many going before commissions in the United States as a means of protecting Second Amendment rights regarding possession of guns. In the U.S. Congress some legislators are seeking to curtail those rights and allow arrest of individuals.
St. Johns County law enforcement remembered one of their own Friday during a ceremony in St. Augustine Beach. It was the 45th anniversary of the shooting and killing of Deputy Marshal Ron Parker who died in the line of duty Jan., 12, 1975. Parker answered a call to help someone whose car was stuck on some rocks at the beach. The driver was Thomas DeSherlia, who it turned out was wanted for a bank robbery in Iowa and two murders in Alabama. DeSherlia killed Parker and then led other officers on a high-speed chase before being caught. Parker’s widow, Brenda Parker, yearly appeared at hearings when DeSherlia was up for parole. He died in prison in 2013. Brenda Parker was at the ceremony Friday.
An 11-year-old runaway in Flagler Count found himself face-to-face with K-9 officer Holmes Thursday. The bloodhound on his first week on the job tracked down the youth after his mother reported the child ran out the back door of the family’s Palm Coast home carrying his backpack, pillow and red blanket. Using a scent article Holmes and his handler found the boy hiding beneath the blanket in a woods several streets away. Earlier in the week Holmes help catch a suspect in a string of car burglaries.