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 »

Orlando Health South Lake Hospital receives 12th consecutive “A” grade for patient safety

CLERMONT— Orlando Health South Lake Hospital has earned its 12th consecutive ‘A’ grade from the Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. health system.

“Providing a safe, quality experience for patients is at the core of what our team does every day, no matter the unit or department,” said Lance Sewell, senior vice president, Orlando Health North Central Region and president, Orlando Health South Lake Hospital. “To achieve 12 ‘A’ grades in a row is a gratifying recognition of the seamless collaboration and teamwork that occurs between our providers, clinicians and team members.  This is a true testament of the team’s dedication to keeping our patients safe.”

Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital and Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital also earned ‘A’ grades for patient safety in the spring 2024 reporting period.

To view Orlando Health’s Leapfrog scores, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org

Orlando Health South Lake Hospital receives 12th consecutive “A” grade for patient safety Read More »

Potentially Contaminated Gas Sold in Lady Lake and Umatilla, Officials Warn

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) is warning consumers of potentially contaminated gas sold at numerous gas stations, including two different Lake County locations over the weekend.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has identified a potentially widespread fuel contamination caused by human error at the Port of Tampa. Fuel purchased after 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at stations supplied by CITGO from the Port of Tampa has a strong likelihood of being contaminated,” it said in a press release.

The gas stations impacted in Lake County are BJ’s Wholesale, 13585 Northeast 86th Path, Lady Lake and Choice Food & Gas, 310 North Central Avenue, Umatilla. FDACS relies on CITGO to provide a list of the impacted gas stations and more stations may be added. The stations have been asked to stop selling gas until the contaminated gas has been removed and the tanks cleaned, according to FDACS.

Contaminated gas can damage engines and cause vehicles and generators not to operate properly. FDACS has opened its consumer hotline, if you believe you purchased contaminated gas, call 1-800-HELP-FLA or visit www.fdacs.gov Consumers can also file a claim with the CITGO Good Gas Guarantee Program by visiting https://www.citgo.com/contact-us.

Potentially Contaminated Gas Sold in Lady Lake and Umatilla, Officials Warn Read More »

Accused Fraudsters Scam Elderly Man and Sell His Clermont Home, According to Police

CLERMONT, Florida—After a months-long investigation by Clermont Police Department, two men were arrested this week after scamming an elderly man out of his home and selling it late last year.

According to a probable cause affidavit, in November 2022, the victim’s niece filed an online complaint with Clermont Police Department stating she believed her uncle was a victim of foreclosure fraud and she found his house was for sale, which was impossible because he is mentally and physically impaired and was admitted to a rehabilitation facility. She also stated she and her husband had power of attorney (POA) over most of her uncle’s affairs, including real estate and financial transactions.

The woman and her husband met with a Clermont Police detective a little over a week later and provided paperwork proving they had power of attorney, in addition to medical records that noted the victim’s cognitive impairment and bank records showing charges to “Lensz Investments.” She also gave the detective a written timeline that included when she contacted the listing agent on her uncle’s home, and stated the agent provided the name, “Emmanuel Damier.” Lensz Investments is linked to Damier, the detective noted in the affidavit.

The couple explained the victim’s wife died in August 2020 and he wanted them to take care of his affairs because he was getting older and did not know how to function financially. Just four days after his wife died, and while he was of sound mind, he gave the couple POA, the affidavit states.

The victim’s niece discovered the home was in foreclosure, due to a reverse mortgage the victim’s wife took out before she died, but also found a bankruptcy filing that stopped the foreclosure proceedings. The victim’s niece did not believe the signature on the document was truly her uncle’s because it was signed more than two years after giving her and her husband POA, the affidavit states.

The CPD detective found that a quit claim deed was filed on July 25, 2022 that gave the home to Mc’ckol Credit Services LLC. While researching, the detective found that the registered agent of Mc’ckol Credit Services is Lyns Dayoute and found that Damier—the name given to the victim’s niece by the listing agent—is the registered agent of Lensz Investments.

CPD served the listing agent with a subpoena of her records and found the following: the seller was listed as Mc’ckol Credit Services LLC with a listing price of $315,000; a buyer was listed and a closing date set for Dec. 5, 2022.

The detective met with the elderly victim, who admitted he had memory issues, and showed him paperwork that allegedly contained his signature. The victim said some of the signatures looked accurate but was “adamant” others were not his actual signature. The detective showed him the quit claim deed and explained the document is used to give away property. The victim asked, “Why would anyone want to do that?” The detective continued to explain the quit claim deed on his home gave the home to Mc’ckol Credit Services. The victim seemed confused, the detective noted, and he said the signature did look like his, but he had no recollection of signing it and he did not know why he would give his house away, the affidavit states.

CPD subpoenaed the victim’s medical records from several different facilities and found his cognitive abilities were impaired from April 22, 2021, until Nov. 3, 2022; in addition to a home healthcare agency noting the victim said he was “scammed and lost a lot of money.”

Records from two title companies were subpoenaed and CPD found that the original title company would not close on the home because Mc’ckol Services refused to provide a gift affidavit stating the home was given freely and the donor was competent at the time. The detective spoke with the title company and a representative said the document was required to prevent fraud, according to the affidavit.

The Lake County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s Office provides a Property Fraud Alert service for property owners in Lake County. According to its website, the office, “offers citizens a free Recording Notification Service via automated emails. Citizens can request monitoring of up to five different names per registered email address. When a document is recorded into the Official Records of Lake County with an identity that is being monitored, an email will automatically be sent to the provided email address.” Visit Recording Notification Service (lakecountyclerk.org) to sign up.

The closing was transferred to a new title company after the first one refused and records showed the home closed on Dec. 2, 2022, and more than $93,000 was given to the seller, Mc’ckol Services. CPD interviewed Damier—the name given to him by the listing agent and the registered agent of Lensz Investments. Damier said he had an agreement with the victim that after the sale, $10,000 would go to the victim and $290,000 would go to Damier.  The detective asked Damier to provide the paperwork and he reportedly got “very guarded” and refused to answer any more questions.

Dayoute—the registered agent of Mc’ckol Services—called the detective and said he is the owner of Mc’ckol Services and Damier is his business partner. He explained the proceeds of the sale would be divided between the victim, the HOA for past dues and the holder of the reverse mortgage. He agreed to meet with the detective and provide all the paperwork, according to the affidavit.

Dayoute and Damier agreed to meet with the detective at their office in Ocoee on Jan. 13. The pair claimed to be business partners and Damier said they met the victim after sending a mailer to his home. He said they went to the victim’s home and explained everything to the victim and “prepared various paperwork and obtained (the victim’s) signature on a few documents,” including a third-party authorization to obtain information from the HOA  and the bank, the affidavit states.  

Damier said once they obtained the information they needed, the went back to the victim so he could sign a contract. Damier and Dayoute provided a contract to the detective that was signed in pencil and not notarized. The detective questioned Damier about two charges totaling $1,650 to Lensz Investments and Damier claimed one charge was for a home inspection and one was a repayment of a loan.

CPD went back to the victim and showed him the quit claim deed; he again said he had no recollection of signing the document and also said he believed Damier was a friend of his daughter’s. The detective spoke with the victim’s daughter and she said a man named Ignacio showed up at the home with a flyer and said he knew the home was in foreclosure and he wanted to help. Her father was introduced to Damier and Dayoute and her father signed a “bunch of paperwork” to include contracts and a lease agreement. She said Damier has given her $2,500 and helped her with hotel stays, and said she did not know anything about the sale of the house.

A warrant was issued for Damier, 42, and Dayoute, 29, for grand theft, scheme to defraud and exploitation of the elderly. They turned themselves in at the Lake County Jail Tuesday, where they were both released on $60,000 bond.

The Lake County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s Office provides a Property Fraud Alert service for property owners in Lake County. According to its website, the office, “offers citizens a free Recording Notification Service via automated emails. Citizens can request monitoring of up to five different names per registered email address. When a document is recorded into the Official Records of Lake County with an identity that is being monitored, an email will automatically be sent to the provided email address.” Visit Recording Notification Service (lakecountyclerk.org) to sign up.

Accused Fraudsters Scam Elderly Man and Sell His Clermont Home, According to Police Read More »

Florida Women and Children Fought in Busy Intersection Because of Past Problem, Suspect Tells Police

EUSTIS, Florida—A fight between two women spilled out into the street and small children joined in the brawl at a busy Eustis intersection Thursday morning, according to an arrest affidavit.  

Santana Potts, 35, of Leesburg, is accused of arguing with a woman near the intersection of Bay Street and Orange Avenue around 8:30 a.m. Thursday and then using her red Hyundai SUV to block the woman’s grey Toyota Camry.

Both women exited their vehicles and began fighting each other in front of numerous witnesses, including a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent. A small child exited each vehicle and then the elementary-age children began fighting each other in the middle of the road, a witness at a nearby business told Eustis Police Department. Everyone then got back into the vehicles they were in and fled the scene.

EPD caught up with Potts at a nearby elementary school and she agreed to go to the department to be interviewed. She told police she was arguing with the victim due to a problem in the past, about five years earlier. She told police she saw she had space and placed her SUV in front of the victim’s car and the victim got out of her car and headed towards her. Potts said she got out too and the victim hit her first, and a child in the car with the victim got out and began to help the victim hit her.

EPD determined Potts had an opportunity to leave the scene and avoid conflict and instead blocked the victim in and began to fight in the middle of the road with a child in the car. Potts was arrested for affray and child neglect and transported to the Lake County Jail, where she was released on $3,000 bond.

In January 2020, Potts was shot twice, once in the arm and once under her armpit, by Keson Donaldson, after she allegedly slashed Donaldson in the face with a pink razor blade at Myung Sung, 201 Palmetto Street, Eustis. Donaldson was arrested for the shooting, but the charges were dropped in May 2021.

Police Say Large Gash To Face Reveals Eustis Shooter’s Motive To Pull Trigger On Woman
Eustis Cousin Charged With Providing the Gun in Myung Sung Store Area Shooting

Florida Women and Children Fought in Busy Intersection Because of Past Problem, Suspect Tells Police Read More »

Crash Claims Life of Groveland Man, CR 33 Remains Closed Friday Night

UPDATE 9:36 p.m.: County 33 has reopened.

GROVELAND, FLORIDA—The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a single-car crash that killed a Groveland man Friday afternoon.

The 23-year-old man was southbound on County Road 33 around 5:30 p.m. near Odom Lane when he ran off for the road for unknown reasons, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said in a press release.

The 2004 Monte Carlo he was driving collided with a utility pole and he was transported to Blue Cedar Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was wearing a seatbelt.

County Road 33 remained closed at 9 p.m. Friday between Simon Brown Road and Bridges Road, Crescenzi said.

Crash Claims Life of Groveland Man, CR 33 Remains Closed Friday Night Read More »

Man Accused of Pointing Gun at Trio, “I’m Going to Cap All 3 of Y’all!”

UMATILLA, Florida—A man who allegedly threatened a group of people with a gun scaring a woman so much she urinated on herself, is being held in the Lake County Jail on $26,000 bond.

Jeremy Forest Mitchell, 29, is accused of accosting the woman about some money she allegedly owed him Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit.

The woman told a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy she was riding her bicycle with her friend on State Road 19 Saturday night when Mitchell came up on his skateboard asking about the money. Her boyfriend apparently saw the altercation, approached Mitchell, and asked, “Why are you talking to my girl?” the affidavit states.

Mitchell, of Yalaha, is then alleged to have pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the trio and said, “I’m going to cap all three of y’all!”

The group backed up and the woman urinated on herself out of fear, she told LCSO. She pulled out her phone and told Mitchell she was going to call law enforcement and Mitchell put the gun away, grabbed his skateboard and fled the area.

Deputies located Mitchell and the victim positively identified him as the perpetrator, according to the affidavit. Mitchell denied the accusations against him and denied talking to anyone that evening. He was taken into custody and found with a small amount of marijuana; deputies did not find a gun.

Mitchell was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.

Man Accused of Pointing Gun at Trio, “I’m Going to Cap All 3 of Y’all!” Read More »

Mount Dora Police Chief Resigns

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A local city that has been in turmoil for several years is without a police chief—again.

Inside Lake obtained a copy of the resignation letter late Wednesday afternoon. Brett Meade tendered the resignation to Mount Dora City Manager Patrick Comiskey Wednesday, it stated in part, “It is apparent that you and I have different viewpoints, which requires a change in leadership.”

Comiskey was named city manager in November 2021, after former City Manager Robin Hayes and the city “agreed to part ways” in April 2021.

Meade plans to utilize vacation time until his last official day, June 10, according to the letter.

Meade was named interim chief in July 2020 following the abrupt retirement of former chief Robert Bell. Meade was named chief in April 2021, following the departure of Hayes.

Since 2020, Mount Dora has lost numerous employees including the city manager, two police chiefs, a deputy police chief, a police captain, a public information officer, the city clerk, and a police communications manager due to retirement, resignations and terminations. 

Mount Dora Police Chief Resigns Read More »

CleanUp With A Cop Takes More Than A Ton Of Trash Off The Streets

EUSTIS, Florida—A little bit of everything, including the kitchen sink.

More than two dozen people came out in the cloudy and humid weather to clean up just a small part of the community and their efforts took at least 2,370 pounds of trash off just one street in Eustis Tuesday afternoon during “CleanUp with a Cop.”  

Beginning with a group photo in front of Palmetto Point Park with a display from “Card My Yard, Leesburg, FL” volunteers armed with grabbers and buckets made their way down Palmetto Street grabbing every piece of trash they saw, while Eustis Public Works was on hand to pick up and dispose of all the trash.

Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri teamed up with CleanUp Eustis’ Christine Cruz, for the second such event in less than a year and proved just a few people can make a substantial difference in a small amount of time.

“We’re making Eustis great,” Capri said.

Eustis resident and candidate for city commission Gary Ashcraft, brought the area to Cruz’ attention after picking his daughter up at a nearby campus.

“I couldn’t believe how bad that area is. The roads lead to Palmetto (Point) Park and it was sad to see the trash,” Ashcraft told Inside Lake. “The residents near the area tell the city they don’t seem to get enough attention to the roads in the area, so I decided to lead a team with CleanUp Eustis to show good faith and how everyone from the community can come together to help all areas of the city.”

CleanUp Eustis has taken tens of thousands of pounds of trash out of Eustis’ lakes and off the streets and will see its fifth birthday this Labor Day. Cruz is appreciative of all the efforts from the community and is especially grateful for Eustis Public Works, “Honestly, without them, no cleanups would ever happen. They are amazing and remove all the trash we pick up.”

Two mattresses, a dozen tires, 31 contractor-size bags of trash that contained various food wrappers, soft drink containers, beer bottles and yes, even a kitchen sink were collected today by volunteers on Palmetto Street. About a dozen shells, believed to be gopher tortoise shells were also found. In Florida, gopher tortoises are a threatened species and both the tortoises, and their burrows are protected by law.

Some of Palmetto Street is in the city limits and another portion is in unincorporated Lake County, but that did not matter to Capri. He wants the whole area cleaned up and more inviting to residents and visitors, he told Inside Lake. The street dead-ends at Palmetto Point Park, a serene setting where three children were enjoying their Spring Break fishing while volunteers worked to clean up.

Eustis City Commissioner Willie Hawkins, along with Carla Mitchell, president of the Eustis African American Heritage Committee joined Capri and several of his officers and a civilian employee, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and inmates from the Lake County Jail in addition to numerous other volunteers.

“It’s a community team effort, with help from multiple groups,” Cruz told Inside Lake.

CleanUp Eustis has a monthly cleanup event the first Saturday of each month at Ferran Park; to keep up with its events, join its Facebook group, CleanUp Eustis.

CleanUp With A Cop Takes More Than A Ton Of Trash Off The Streets Read More »

Third Teenager Arrested In Gang-Related Shooting

EUSTIS, Florida—A 14-year-old has now been arrested for his involvement in one of a series of gang-related shootings in recent months.

Kristine Moriel Morris, of Eustis, was picked up Monday on charges related to a drive-by shooting on Feb. 7 in the 1200 block of East Hazzard Avenue. Artavious “Kutt” Williams, 16, and Robert “Swag” Sharp, 16, were arrested last month and more arrests may be forthcoming.

Eustis Police responded to the scene in February and found a bullet hit a home and a tree, along with four shell casings in the roadway, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police spoke to witnesses and found that two cars pulled up to children playing basketball near the shooting and asked where someone was by their nickname, “Cherry Lake.” “Cherry Lake” is a known gang member, affiliated with the “510 Gang.” Inside Lake is not naming “Cherry Lake” by his real name, because he has not been charged with a crime. The males then got back into one of the vehicles and another witness described the same vehicle driving by her apartment and firing shots.

The “4wayy” gang has been investigated for several shootings dating back to November 2020, according to Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri. Police believe there is a rivalry between “510 Gang” that is comprised of mostly juveniles who live in or grew up in Eustis, and “4wayy” that is comprised of mostly juveniles who live in or grew up in Mount Dora. Police are still investigating the motive behind the rivalry.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Dora Police Department and Tavares Police Department have all been working with EPD, Capri told Inside Lake. Capri’s own officers have been working hard to talk to witnesses and gather evidence to make arrests.

“I am very proud of the men and women of Eustis Police Department and the work they have put in on these cases,” Capri said last month.

This rivalry began more than a year ago and there have been 15 to 20 shootings reported to law enforcement involving these two gangs in a little over a year, and police believe there are more that have been unreported, Capri said. Most were drive-by shootings where no one was injured. The home on Hazzard Avenue has been shot at, at least four times in the last few months.

Though it is believed to have begun earlier in November 2020, on Nov. 27, 2020, a woman, who was not the target, was hit by one of three shots fired in downtown Eustis following the city’s annual “Light Up Eustis” festivities. This reporter was the only media on scene following that incident. Brycen Jacobe Williams, then 17, was arrested less than two months later for the shooting.

In this most recent shooting on Feb. 7, a tipster showed police a Snapchat story posted by Williams that showed EPD cars on the scene with the caption, “Ain’t Nomoee Who Dat, We Shoot Dat.”

Gang members from both sides have utilized social media to get “street credit,” and videos and photos were discovered showing the car, a white Dodge Dart, suspected in the Feb. 7 shooting near the shooting location. The photos and videos were recorded just six minutes before the shots were fired.

Editor’s note: Although Brycen Williams, who was arrested for the Light Up Eustis shooting, and Artavious Williams are both said to be gang members and have the same last name, they are not related according to EPD.

Police also believe the shooting at Sunset Island Park on Jan. 22 involves some “4wayy” members, but the shooting was random, Capri told Inside Lake. Thomas Saliba, 17, was shot in the face during a 3-year-old’s birthday party, but was not targeted, Capri said. It is believed that the individuals involved in that shooting just randomly decided to shoot up a park, he said. One person has been arrested in that case.

Third Teenager Arrested In Gang-Related Shooting Read More »

Scroll to Top

No Paywalls

Local journalism is more important than ever before and we are dedicated to the health and vibrancy of our community. Your support helps us maintain our independence and our ability to report the news without bias or influence.

You can show your support by advertising, email us at [email protected] or by donating at PayPal