Groveland

Scheduled Holiday Closings And Modified Garbage Pickup

LAKE COUNTY, Florida—Many local government offices are scheduled to close this week in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lake County Government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday and county garbage pickup regularly scheduled for Thursday will be Friday and regularly scheduled pickup for Friday will be Saturday. This includes Altoona, Astor, Ferndale, Grand Island, Okahumpka, Paisley, Sorrento and Yalaha. For more information, visit  https://lakecountyfl.gov/trash-recycling.

Most city government and town halls will be closed Thursday and Friday; this includes Clermont, Eustis, Fruitland Park, Groveland, Howey-In-The-Hills, Leesburg, Mascotte, Mount Dora, Tavares and Umatilla. Astatula, Lady Lake and Minneola are scheduled to close just on Thursday. Aligning with the county garbage pickup modified schedule; garbage pickup for Thursday will be Friday and pickup for Friday will be Saturday for most cities, except Lady Lake, Leesburg and Tavares.

Lady Lake’s and Leesburg’s garbage pickup will resume Monday and Tavares will resume Tuesday. 

Groveland Woman Heartbroken After Horse Shot To Death

GROVELAND, Florida—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a horse was found shot to death Sunday morning near Groveland.

Jackie the horse was found by her owner, Tonya Sanders when Sanders went to feed her Sunday morning on the 13-acre property she owns with her husband, she told Inside Lake.

Sanders found 15-year-old Jackie dead from a gunshot wound around 9 a.m. in her pasture on Indianhouse Lane near State Road 19 in unincorporated Groveland, according to an LCSO report.  Sanders and her husband told LCSO that between 10 and 11 p.m. Saturday they heard two loud booms they believed to be gunshots from inside their home, and their dogs continued to make an excessive amount of noise for several hours. Sanders said they often hear loud noises like tires blowing out in the rural area just outside of Groveland and the dogs bark if they see small animals like possums.

PHOTO CREDIT: Tonya Sanders

When they found Jackie, valued at $10,000, they pulled her out of the pasture, saw blood coming from her nose, and found a small gunshot wound near her kidney and called LCSO.

There were tire tracks near Sanders’ fence and the ground was disturbed inside the pasture; Sanders said it is possible the person responsible coaxed Jackie to the fence and then shot her but does not understand the motive.  She said her “dogs were going bonkers” and they may have spooked the shooter.

The responding deputy found no exit wound on Jackie and noted the horse appeared to have run around the pasture for “some time” before she succumbed to her wound.  As she choked back tears, Sanders told Inside Lake the bullet traveled around inside Jackie’s abdomen and she eventually bled to death.

Deputies canvassed the area for shell casings and were unable to find any. No other shooting incidents were reported in the area to LCSO or neighboring Groveland Police Department, according to the report. The Sanders’ told LCSO they had no suspects in mind.

Other animals are located on the property, but none of them were hurt. Sanders has owned Jackie for about eight years, and they competed in the National Barrel Horse Association for the past year. Sanders was thrown from another horse several years ago and broke her ankle and took some time off.  Jackie was docile and was patient and gentle with Sanders.

PHOTO CREDIT: Tonya Sanders

“I just started back last year, and she took care of me,” Sanders said.

Sanders said a neighboring rancher has offered $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of conviction of Jackie’s killer. Sanders’ sister is matching the donation to bring the total reward to $5,000.

If you have information, call LCSO at 352-343-2101. 

Groveland Man With Child Pornography On Phone Asks FDLE Agent Whether He Can Call Mom, Return To Guatemala

The following story was previously published on Lake Legal News.

GROVELAND, Florida — A man who asked a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent if he could “just call his mother and return to Guatemala,” and told him sexual activity with younger females is legal in his country, according to an arrest affidavit, is behind bars and facing one count of possession of child pornography.

Acting on tips about two Facebook profiles from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an FDLE agent went to a home on Rock Springs Circle in Groveland Tuesday to speak with Lorenzo Domingo-Aguilar.

Domingo-Aguilar, 26, admitted to the agent he had shared pornographic videos, but did not remember if there were juveniles in them and said he had not saved any of the files in his phone. Domingo-Aguilar allowed the agent to search his phone and the agent “immediately” found a file depicting a girl, approximately 12 or 13 years old, in a sexually explicit manner, the affidavit states.

Domingo-Aguilar said he did not remember saving the file and the agent stopped looking through his phone until a search warrant could be obtained, according to the affidavit. Domingo-Aguilar was taken into custody and was transported to the Lake County Jail; the FDLE agent requested he be held on no bond due to a statement he made about leaving the country and the potential of additional charges, pending the outcome of the search warrant, according to the affidavit.

Despite the agent’s request, Domingo-Aguilar is being held on $5,000 bond.

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