Suspect in Mount Dora slayings mentally incompetent, judge rules

TAVARES, Fla.—The woman suspected of brutally murdering an elderly Mount Dora couple “is incompetent to proceed” to her murder trial due to her mental illness, Lake Circuit Judge Cary Rada ruled earlier this week.

Vickie Lynn Williams, 51,  is accused of stabbing Darryl Getman, 83, and Sharon Getman, 80. The married couple was murdered in their Waterman Village home sometime between the hours of 11 p.m. Dec. 30, 2022, and 2 a.m. Dec. 31, 2022.

After murdering the couple, Williams stole their green Kia Soul and was still driving it when she was apprehended by a Savannah Police Department officer at a Georgia Amtrak station on Jan. 2, 2023. She was indicted later that month and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in the case that shocked the community.

Darryl and Sharon Getman were found murdered in their home Dec. 31, 2022.

A competency hearing for Williams was held earlier last week and employees at the Lake County Jail testified, in addition to two experts for the defense and one for the state. Dr. Jason Demery Ph.D., expert for the state, “expressed concerns the Defendant was malingering (faking mental illness,) and further stated he would not opine an individual is incompetent if they are malingering,” Rada’s order states, but also said he had no opinion because Williams “failed to produce reliable data,” by not participating in the interview.

“Dr. (Jeffrery) Danzinger opined the Defendant has no rational understanding of the outcomes and penalties of her case, and that she has partial factual understanding of the roles of officers of the court. Dr. Danzinger further opined that Defendant would not be able to relevantly testify because of delusional beliefs and her inability to accurately recall information. Dr. Danzinger also opined that Defendant’s ability to consult with counsel is substantially impaired.” He stated Williams is “not competent to proceed due to what is likely schizophrenia in exacerbation,” and she “should be involuntarily committed because she has been aggressive and violent in jail,” but also said it is “reasonably probable competency could be restored in 6 months,” the order states.

Vickie Lynn Williams is seen here in an earlier court appearance.

According to reports by Dr. Bushan Agharkar, also an expert for the defense, found Williams to be “mentally ill and urgent need of psychiatric hospitalization and treatment.” He testified he met with her at her cell door because she refused to meet in an attorney booth at the jail, and said Williams was wearing a suicide smock, had poor hygiene and there was liquid on the cell floor he believed to be urine. Williams did not appear to be bothered by the odor and denied it was urine, he said.

During the proceedings Williams mumbled to herself, stated her name was “Candace” and urinated on herself, her chair and the floor while handcuffed and shackled to the defense table. She was removed from the courtroom to clean herself up and she refused to change her clothes. Her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Morris Carranza waived her appearance for the rest of the hearing.

Lake Circuit Judge Cary Rada

On Monday, less than a week after the hearing, Rada rendered his decision. He stated in his order that he took all the testimony into consideration but “competent substantial evidence outweighs any concerns of malingering,” and ordered Williams be committed to the Department of Children and Families to be placed in a mental health treatment facility. He further ordered DCF to report directly to the Court on issues of competency and the need for continued commitment. Williams will remain in the treatment facility until a further order from the Court.

Previous story: State to Seek Death Penalty in Brutal Murders of Elderly Mount Dora Couple – Inside Lake

Suspect in Mount Dora slayings mentally incompetent, judge rules Read More »

Man returns to Tavares business day after he was trespassed, punches cop in the mouth

TAVARES, Fla.—A 69-year-old man is being held in the Lake County Jail on $6,000 bond, accused of returning to a business he was trespassed from the day before and punching a Tavares Police Department officer in the mouth when he tried to take him into custody.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, TPD responded to Japan Express, 456 East Burleigh Boulevard, in reference to Michael Stanley Bomber returning to the restaurant after he had been trespassed, according to a report.

The officer approached Bomber, confirmed his name and asked if he was aware of the trespass he was issued Thursday night. Bomber said he was aware of it and the officer told him he was under arrest. Bomber, whose last known address is in St. Petersburg, became combative and aggressive and reportedly told the officer, “If you touch me, I’ll punch you in the face.”

Bomber ignored verbal commands and when the officer stepped forward to take him into custody, Bomber allegedly punched him in the “upper left lip,” the report states.

Bomber was taken to the ground and eventually complied; he complained of chest pains and was taken to a local healthcare facility, where he was medically cleared. Bomber is facing charges of resisting arrest with violence and trespassing after warning; this was Bomber’s second trespassing arrest in two days by TPD. The details of Wednesday’s arrest were not available at press time.

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National Safe Boating Week kicks off Saturday

LITTLE LAKE HARRIS, Fla.—The unofficial start to summer is upon us and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding boaters to stay safe during National Safe Boating Week that begins Saturday.

Inside Lake had the opportunity to speak with FWC’s Kristen Turner and Chad Weber, along with Hunter Bland of the National Safe Boating Council Friday about staying safe on the waterways. Florida is the “Boating Capital of the World,” with more than 1 million vessels registered in the state, according to FWC.

Florida does have some requirements for boating but common sense and taking simple precautions can prevent a tragedy. A boating safety course is required for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988; classes are available in classroom setting and also online, FWC-approved courses can be found here.

All vessels are required to have personal flotation device (PFD) for each person onboard and FWC encourages everyone to wear it at all times. In an emergency situation, people often won’t have time to put on a PFD. This reporter and Inside Lake Photographer Bonnie Whicher were required to wear a PFD during a ride-along Friday. The weather cut the ride-along short, but Weber used that opportunity to educate the Inside Lake staff on how to handle changing weather conditions.

FWC Officer Chad Weber PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

“You need to know where you are at. (Bad weather) is one of the hidden dangers (people) overlook,” Weber said. “The best thing to do is get out of the water.”

Bland said often homeowners will let a vessel stay at their dock to ride out a storm and he’s even known people to invite boaters in their home to ride it out.

“There are good people out there,” Bland said.

Filing a “float plan can also save your life, Turner told Inside Lake. Though not required, a float plan is letting someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. The United States Coast Guard provides a fillable PDF float plan and suggests you provide it to a reliable person, along with a photo of the vessel. While the information would be extremely helpful in an emergency, Bland stressed that something as simple as a text message letting someone know your plans, would suffice.

FWC Northeast Region Public Information Director Kristen Turner PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

Weber also suggested other things to have onboard, such as rain jackets, a cooler with water and a first aid kit; tools and extra fuses can also come in handy, Bland added.

For more boating information from FWC, visit https://myfwc.com/boating/

National Safe Boating Council Program Director Hunter Bland PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

National Safe Boating Week kicks off Saturday Read More »

Lake County Schools high school graduations scheduled for this week and next week

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—Caps will be flying through the air this week and next as Lake County Schools seniors say goodbye to high school and hello to adulthood. Graduations are scheduled to begin Tuesday with Tavares High School and will end with Lake County Virtual School next week. Schools are listed below in alphabetical order.

East Ridge High School—9 a.m. Wednesday at UCF/Addition Arena

Eustis High School—9 a.m. Saturday, at Eustis High School Panther Stadium

Lake County Virtual School—6 p.m. May 23, at Mount Dora High School Auditorium

Lake Hills School—occurred May 1 at Lake Hills Gymnasium

Lake Minneola High School—7 p.m. Friday at UCF/Addition Arena

Lake Success Academy—3:30 p.m. Friday at Lake Success Academy

Leesburg High School—8 a.m. Saturday at Leesburg High School Stadium

Mount Dora High School—8 p.m. Thursday at Mount Dora High School Stadium

South Lake High School—7:30 p.m. Wednesday at UCF/Addition Arena

Tavares High School—7:30 p.m., Tuesday UCF/Addition Arena

Umatilla High School—7 p.m. Friday Grafton Center Elks Club


Lake County Schools high school graduations scheduled for this week and next week Read More »

Wrong-way driver busted with nitrous oxide by Tavares police

TAVARES, Fla.—A wrong-way driver who caught the attention of a Tavares Police Department officer Sunday was arrested for possession of four canisters of nitrous oxide, commonly known as “whippets,” according to a report.

Just before noon Sunday, a TPD officer was parked at Lake County Schools on Burleigh Boulevard when she spotted a grey SUV traveling eastbound in a westbound lane, causing other drivers to swerve into the median and switch lanes, a report states.

The officer activated her lights and sirens and caught up to the SUV around Banning Beach Road, where it pulled over in the middle of Burleigh Boulevard/U.S. Highway 441. She directed the driver, later identified as Kyle Tillberg, to pull over in a nearby shopping plaza.

Tillberg, who was “extremely pale” and had “constricted pupils,” the officer noted, was questioned why he was driving the wrong way and he reportedly said, he believed everyone else was driving the wrong way, the report states.

The officer asked Tillberg if he was under the influence of anything and he denied it, according to the report. He told the officer he was trying to make it to the smoke shop located in the plaza where they were stopped, but that plaza does not have a smoke shop, officer stated in the report.

Tillberg gave officers consent to search the rental vehicle he was driving and upon searching, they found nine small zip-top bags that were ripped open and empty, along with a tenth bag in a compartment under the radio; that bag contained a white, screw-on nozzle tip. Three 680-gram tanks of nitrous oxide were found on the rear floorboard behind the driver’s seat, and one was found tucked under the passenger seat; two of the four tanks were still cold to the touch, according to the report.

The officer requested a drug recognition expert (DRE) to determine if Tillberg was under the influence, and one was not available in Lake or Orange county, the report states. Tillberg, 57, of Mount Dora, was arrested for possessing nitrous oxide and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $3,000 bond.

Wrong-way driver busted with nitrous oxide by Tavares police Read More »

5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue and Red Walk

Photos from the 5th Annual Back the Blue and Red Walk. Organizer Shannon Cook has been supporting law enforcement since 2019 with this walk. This year, firefighters were added to the event, and the name was changed. PHOTOS: Bonnie Whicher/Special to Inside Lake

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5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue (and Red) Walk scheduled for Saturday; Firefighters added this year

TAVARES, Florida—For the fifth year in a row, law enforcement and supporters will join forces for the annual Lake County Back the Blue Walk at Wooton Park Saturday morning, and this year firefighters will join the fun. 

Scheduled for 9 a.m., this is one of many law enforcement events around Lake County held in May during Law Enforcement Appreciation Month and this year, Organizer Shannon Cook wanted to add firefighters to the appreciation walk to coincide with the Lake County Board of County Commissioners proclaiming May 4 “International Firefighters’ Day” in Lake County, she told Inside Lake.

“I figured what better day to honor our heroes in red,” Cook said.

The walk began in 2019 to show support for law enforcement during a time when the “defund the police” movement was making its way across the country, Cook said, representatives from several law enforcement agencies and numerous public officials are expected to be in attendance.

“The good ones needed to know they were appreciated,” Cook said.

Ryan Koester, son of fallen Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Koester, left, and Deputy Koester’s brother Vic, right, at the 2023 Back the Blue Walk PHOTO: Shannon Cook

Cook’s close friend, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Koester, was killed in the line of duty Feb. 9, 2005. Koester, who was 33 at the time, and two other deputies were ambushed while responding to a domestic violence call. All three deputies were shot, and Koester succumbed to his injuries; the other two deputies recovered. Jason Wheeler was shot and paralyzed during his capture and convicted in Koester’s death. Cook was also close to Chris Daniels, who was serving as Lake County Sheriff when he was tragically killed in a charity bus race in 2006, on his birthday.

Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at Wooton Park, 100 East Ruby Street, Tavares. The first stop will be the Lake County Administration Building, then a stop at the Tavares Public Safety Complex and the walk will end at Kalua Beach Bar with lunch, provided by owner Randy Connor; come a little early to enjoy donuts and coffee donated by Greg Wilmore of New Life Baptist Church Leesburg. 


5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue (and Red) Walk scheduled for Saturday; Firefighters added this year Read More »

Former Tavares police officer nabbed on Volusia County burglary, theft charges

TAVARES, Fla.—A former Tavares police officer is being held in the Lake County Jail on $171,000 bond, accused of burglarizing $50,000 worth of jewelry, along with credit and debit cards from a Volusia County home earlier this week.

Theodore “Teddy” Pearl, 28, is accused of stealing numerous pieces of jewelry from a home in DeBary that belonged to the grandparents of a juvenile friend of his, according to a Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO) charging affidavit.

VSO responded to the home on River Drive Monday when one of the homeowners reported her home had been burglarized while she and her husband were out of state on vacation. She told the deputy numerous pieces of jewelry were missing, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and a ring, in addition to a passport, checkbooks, credit cards, a $500 speaker and extra vehicle fobs. The total value of the items is approximately $50,000, the affidavit states.

The victim said she felt the theft was personal. She told the deputy one of her grandsons was watching over the home while she was out of town, and he came to the home to help her look for the stolen items. Her grandson told the deputy that while he was looking, he observed a grey glove being placed over her Ring camera. While the deputy was speaking to him, the victim advised her stepdaughter had found the victim’s checkbooks and a gold pendant in her juvenile son’s room. The deputy noted the juvenile had been arrested for a violation of probation around the time of the burglary.

On Wednesday, a VSO detective received the burglary report and traveled to the Detention Juvenile Justice Center to interview the juvenile. First, the boy said he was unaware of the burglary at his grandmother’s home, but later changed his story and said he and Pearl, a friend of his, were texting back and forth and agreed to meet up. The juvenile told the detective, Pearl “used to be a detective” for a law enforcement agency in the area and provided a Facebook and Instagram account with the name “Tee Juiced Up” for Pearl.

A search of the boy’s phone later revealed the conversation between the pair. An excerpt of the conversation is below.

(Pearl): I want day wholeeee jewelry drawer (racial slur)

(Juvenile) N we gonna get itttt

(Pearl) You 100% know where dat jewelry key is right my (racial slur)?

(Juvenile) Ya

Pearl apparently responds he was ready to get the money, the affidavit states.

(Juvenile) I’m really hoping my grandparents have not gone back home yet and try to get me a small bottle of vodka so I’m not trippin when we do it.

(Pearl) (Expletive) bro if they home it gon (expletive) everything up.

(Pearl) We’d have to try and find cards or get into the truist account of some (expletive.) Why don’t you think they’re home yet?


Theodore “Teddy” Pearl was arrested on multiple charges stemming from a Volusia County burglary earlier this week. He was employed as a Tavares police officer for nearly three years before resigning late last year. PHOTO: Tavares Police Department

At 1:19 a.m. Tuesday, Pearl texted the juvenile and stated he’s 10 minutes away and to meet him at the stop sign down the street from the juvenile’s home. Pearl picked the juvenile up in his “burnt orange” Dodge Hellcat and reportedly told the juvenile he wanted to go to the victim’s house to steal items. The juvenile said they went to his grandmother’s home and collected jewelry, checkbooks and other documents from the home. The juvenile said he placed a glove over the ring camera, and he knew Pearl’s intentions were to sell or pawn the items for cash.

The detective ran a search of Pearl’s phone number in a pawn shop database and found two transactions at a Winter Park pawn shop that totaled more than $3,000. Detectives contacted the pawn shop owner who provided video surveillance that showed Pearl in the business and two distinct hand tattoos, one of a skeleton’s jaw on his right hand and a skeleton’s hand on his left. “Tee Juiced Up’s” social media pages did reveal a photo showing both tattoos, the affidavit states.

The pawn shop owner provided detectives with a photocopy of Pearl’s driver license and copies of the transactions that included Pearl’s personal information, including his name, date of birth and address. He listed his place of employment as Tavares PD. Inside Lake reached out to TPD’s public information officer Thursday morning and she confirmed Pearl resigned from TPD late last year on Dec. 27, 2023. The shop owner told detectives Pearl was contacting him with photos of more items he had to sell, and he provided those photos to detectives. The victim confirmed the items belonged to her, according to the affidavit.

Detectives determined there was probable cause for Pearl’s arrest for grand theft more than $20,000, fraud-swindle-obtain property under $20,000, burglary, dealing in stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was arrested in Lake County Wednesday night and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on $171,000 bond.


Former Tavares police officer nabbed on Volusia County burglary, theft charges Read More »

Man who threw the “Dew” at Tavares store clerk turns himself in

TAVARES, Fla.—A man who threw a bottle of Mountain Dew at a Tavares gas station clerk earlier this month turned himself in on a warrant for battery Tuesday, according to Tavares Police Department.

On April 13, TPD responded to Kangaroo, 933 County Road 48 on a report of a battery. The complainant told officers a male customer was upset about difficulties with a self-checkout and a second clerk went to a register to begin ringing up customers. The man, later identified as Scott Francis May, began complaining about the wait, and said, “This is (expletive) ridiculous,” according to a report.

The clerk asked May if he wanted to come do her job and May began cursing at her and threw a 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottle at her, striking her in the chest or stomach. The incident was captured on the store’s surveillance video and TPD released the video on its social media page April 17 in an attempt to identify the man.


The following day, May, 62, of Astatula went to Tavares Police Department and admitted to throwing the soda at the clerk. May was “polite, respectful and remorseful,” while speaking with an officer and said he did not mean to hit the clerk, he only meant for the soda and a sandwich to land on the counter.

A warrant for battery was issued for May’s arrest Monday, and he turned himself in on Tuesday. He was released from the Lake County Jail on $1,000 bond.


Man who threw the “Dew” at Tavares store clerk turns himself in Read More »

Tavares Police investigating after young woman falls from 8th floor of parking garage

TAVARES, Fla.—A young woman was airlifted to an area hospital after falling from the 8th floor of the Tavares parking garage Wednesday afternoon, according to Tavares Police Department.

TPD is on scene and still investigating, TPD Public Information Officer Courtney Sullivan told Inside Lake.

“It’s too soon to tell if she jumped or fell,” Sullivan said.

This is a developing story.

Tavares Police investigating after young woman falls from 8th floor of parking garage Read More »

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