LCSO

Man dies after being found with multiple gunshot wounds in Leesburg yard

LEESBURG, Fla.—Leesburg Police Department is investigating after a 20-year-old man was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds Monday afternoon.

LPD responded to Aitkin Loop in Overlook at Lake Griffin around 2:30 p.m. Monday in reference to a shooting and found James Jordan in the front yard of a home in the 2200 block, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, LPD Sgt. Shannon Walsh said.

Officers rendered aid to Jordan until EMS and Leesburg Fire Department arrived and Jordan was transported to UF Health Leesburg, where he succumbed to his injuries.

LPD set up a perimeter and utilized a K9 unit and LPD detectives and CSI responded to the scene, Walsh said.

If you have information on Jordan’s death, call LPD at 352-787-2121 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS; Crimeline callers may be eligible for a reward.

This is LPD’s second homicide in just over a month. On May 30, Raied “Ray” Shihadeh, 51, was shot and killed at Fast Stop Superette, 3702 Picciola Road, on May 30 during an armed robbery of the store. Alex Lopez was arrested for the crime late last month and is being held on no bond at the Lake County Jail.

Man dies after being found with multiple gunshot wounds in Leesburg yard Read More »

Father of young girl found dead in Montverde last month arrested on unrelated charges

TAVARES, Fla.—The father of a young girl found dead in Montverde last month was arrested last week on unrelated charges out of Polk County, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

Lojuan Jamario Sessions, 26, father of 9-year-old Jamaria Sessions, was picked up at his job in Eustis Wednesday by Eustis Police Department on two warrants for violating probation, stemming from a 2019 Polk County case.

In January 2019, Sessions was accused of fleeing from a Haines City Police Department officer after the officer found a bag of drugs, later determined to be amphetamine, in plain view in the vehicle Sessions was driving during a traffic stop, according to an arrest affidavit.

The officer put the bag of suspected drugs on the roof of Sessions’ vehicle, and asked Sessions to step out. Sessions put the vehicle in drive, took off, struck a vehicle being driven by an undercover Polk County deputy and then crashed into a palm tree. Sessions’ current girlfriend was in the passenger seat with a small unrestrained child in her lap, and three young girls were in the back seat—not wearing seatbelts.

Sessions was arrested for four counts of child neglect, possession of amphetamine with intent to sell, trafficking in amphetamine, possession of a vehicle while trafficking drugs, possession of marijuana, fleeing a law enforcement officer a at high speed, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.

He later pleaded guilty, according to Polk County Clerk of Court records, and was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of probation. He is accused of violating his probation, but details of the violations were not available Monday evening.

Sessions was released from prison in August 2023, and according to Jamaria’s uncle, Joseph Robinson, Jamaria and her younger sister, 5, had been living with their father since October 2023. Before that, the sisters were living with their grandmother, Althea Chenault, following the death of their mother, Tadrina Dort. Dort died from congestive heart failure in 2022 after beating leukemia; she was just 24 years old.

Jamaria Sessions. Photo courtesy of Joseph Robinson and Althea Chenault

The girls began living with Sessions after he picked them up from school without Chenault’s knowledge or consent in October 2023 and they lived with him until Jamaria’s death on June 17. Jamaria’s 5-year-old sister, who Inside Lake is not naming, is staying with another family member.

No arrests have been made in Jamaria’s death and LCSO has released few details, only calling her death a “homicide investigation.”

“The death investigation is being treated as a homicide until the results are retrieved from the autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s office,” LCSO Cpl. Chanel Martin told Inside Lake last month.  “When the cause and manner are returned explaining the death, a determination will be made on proceeding forward.”

LCSO online records show Sessions was released from the Lake County Jail Monday and Martin told Inside Lake he was turned over to Polk County Sheriff’s Office. At press time, Sessions had not been booked into the Polk County Jail.

Previous stories: Death of 9-year-old girl being treated as a homicide investigation, maternal family says – Inside Lake

Child found deceased at Montverde home, Medical Examiner to determine cause of death – Inside Lake

Father of young girl found dead in Montverde last month arrested on unrelated charges Read More »

Medical examiner: Self-inflicted gunshot killed Altoona man found in burning home Saturday

ALTOONA, Fla.—The man found dead in his burning home Saturday took his own life, according to the medical examiner, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Michael Gall, 49, was found dead in his home at 20332 Wood Duck Road in Altoona around 1 p.m. Saturday, LCSO Lt. John Herrell said. LCSO and Lake County Fire responded to the home after reports it was on fire and LCFR found Gall dead in the home.

The medical examiner performed an autopsy Sunday and preliminary findings showed Gall died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Herrell.

If you are struggling or having suicidal thoughts, help is available by calling the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 on your cell phone. Local counseling is also available, visit MIKE Endowment | Mental Health | Suicide | Awareness | Lake County | FL (themikeendowment.org).

Previous story: Man found dead in burning Altoona home Saturday – Inside Lake

Medical examiner: Self-inflicted gunshot killed Altoona man found in burning home Saturday Read More »

Man found dead in burning Altoona home Saturday

ALTOONA, Fla.—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a man was found dead in a burning home Saturday afternoon.

LCSO and Lake County Fire Rescue responded to 20332 Wood Duck Road, Altoona around 1 p.m. on reports the home was on fire. LCFR removed a deceased male from the home, and authorities found he had an apparent gunshot wound, according to LCSO Lt. John Herrell.

The man, identified as Michael Gall, 49, lived at the home and detectives are conducting a death investigation, Herrell said; no other information was released.

Man found dead in burning Altoona home Saturday Read More »

Leesburg man accused of exposing himself on busy highway during road rage incident Sunday

LEESBURG, Fla.—A man was arrested after he was accused of exposing his genitals to three people in the middle of the day on a busy highway during a road rage incident Sunday afternoon.

Shortly before 3:15 p.m. Sunday, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a report of a road rage incident and indecent exposure. One of the victims told the deputy they were traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 27 when they slowed due to heavy rain, according to an arrest affidavit.

A speeding silver Kia Optima swerved around their vehicle and cut them off. The Optima continued to be operated “aggressively,” speeding up and coming to a complete stop in front of victims’ vehicle, then driving beside them while someone threw objects and screamed at them, one of the victims told LCSO.

The victims pulled over at the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and Plantation Boulevard to get the make, model and license plate of the Optima when it pulled over ahead of them. The driver, later identified as James Cary Box, 56, got out and began to charge toward the victims’ car, the affidavit states.

Box then allegedly pulled his shorts down to his knees and exposed his genitals, grabbing them with both hands and shaking them toward the victims. Two of the three victims screamed and looked away, and Box apparently left the scene.

One of the victims provided photos of the Optima and Box to the deputy, and when the deputy went to Box’s Leesburg home, he was still wearing the same clothes, according to the affidavit. Box denied being involved in a road rage incident and said the victims must be confused. He was arrested for exposure of sexual organs and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $1,000 bond.

Leesburg man accused of exposing himself on busy highway during road rage incident Sunday Read More »

Death of 9-year-old girl being treated as a homicide investigation, maternal family says

MONTVERDE, Fla.—The maternal family of the child found deceased in a Montverde home Monday has publicly identified her and they say the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has told them her death is a homicide investigation.

Only Inside Lake spoke with the uncle and grandmother of Jamaria Sessions, 9, this week. According to Jamaria’s uncle Joseph Robinson, Jamaria and her younger sister, 5, had been living with their father, Lojuan Sessions since October 2023, and Jamaria was found deceased at his home in Montverde. Prior to that, they were living with their grandmother when Sessions picked them up from school without her knowledge or consent. Sessions was released from prison in August 2023 after serving a five-year prison sentence for two counts of child neglect, trafficking in MDMA and fleeing and eluding, stemming from a case in Polk County. According to Florida Department of Correction records, he was simultaneously serving a two-year sentence for an Orange County aggravated assault with a weapon case. He is currently on probation for the Polk County case.

The victims’ names in the Polk County case are redacted, but Robinson told Inside Lake, Sessions saw the girls very little prior to his prison sentence and they were not the children in the vehicle with him when he fled police.

The girls were living with their grandmother, Althea Chenault, following the death of their mother, Tadrina Dort. Dort died from congestive heart failure in 2022 after beating leukemia. She was only 24 years old.

Robinson said Sessions has not let the maternal side of Jamaria’s family see her or her sister since he picked them up from school in 2023. There is an open custody case between Chenault and Sessions, but the documents are not available to the public.

LCSO is investigating the case and has released very little information.

“The death investigation is being treated as a homicide until the results are retrieved from the autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s office,” Cpl. Chanel Martin told Inside Lake Friday.  “When the cause and manner are returned explaining the death, a determination will be made on proceeding forward.”

Previous story: Child found deceased at Montverde home, Medical Examiner to determine cause of death – Inside Lake

Death of 9-year-old girl being treated as a homicide investigation, maternal family says Read More »

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—Only Inside Lake was on the scene earlier this month as Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives, in conjunction with the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) searched an internet gaming facility in unincorporated Umatilla, and LCSO has finally released information regarding that search warrant and three more.

On June 13, 2024, four search warrants were executed at different illegal gaming establishments in Lake County. Detectives with the Leesburg, Clermont, Eustis, and Mount Dora police departments also assisted with the investigation that stemmed from continued concerns that illegal gambling throughout Lake County leads to an increase in law enforcement calls for service, criminal activity, and other threats to public safety, LCSO spokesperson Chanel Martin said.

The Umatilla location was the site of an attempted armed robbery in August 2022; in that a incident a security guard was shot. No arrests have been made in that case.

“Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians. They are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators,” said Lou Trombetta, FGCC Executive Director.

Detectives seized approximately 170 gaming machines and approximately $211,000 from the Hot Spot,11145 U.S HWY 441, Tavares; Hot Spot, 11203 U.S. HWY 441, Tavares. Cyber Monkey. 23505 State Road 40, Astor and Hot Spot II, 37415 SR 19, Umatilla, according to Martin.

Detectives seized all illegal gaming devices and issued misdemeanor notices to appear in lieu of physical arrests to six operating employees. The citations were issued with reference to Florida State Statue 849.01, which states it is illegal to keep or maintain a gambling house.

Previous stories: Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares – Inside Lake

LCSO Searching for 2 Suspects After Security Guard was Shot in Attempted Robbery Wednesday Night – Inside Lake

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month Read More »

Child found deceased at Montverde home, Medical Examiner to determine cause of death

MONTVERDE, Fla.—A 9-year-old child was found deceased by a family member at their home in Montverde Monday and turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The child’s name and gender were not released.

Little information was available Tuesday, but “there is no danger to the public and the investigation is ongoing,” Cpl. Chanel Martin told Inside Lake.

Child found deceased at Montverde home, Medical Examiner to determine cause of death Read More »

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—There is a large law enforcement presence at two internet gaming facilities, one in unincorporated Umatilla and one in unincorporated Tavares, Thursday morning and Inside Lake is working to find out why.

Inside Lake received multiple tips and was on the scene at Hotspot, 37415 State Road 19, Umatilla, briefly and witnessed several marked units from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at the business around 9:30 a.m. A tipster also said there was a law enforcement presence at another Hotspot, located at 11203 U.S. Highway 441, Tavares, near County Road 473.

“We’re working an investigation regarding those gaming establishments, the details of which will be released at a later date,” LCSO Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake.

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares Read More »

2nd suspect in Paisley home invasion nabbed Tuesday

TAVARES, Fla.—The man wanted for a home invasion and zip-tying a victim earlier this month is behind bars.

James Kenneth Rohrer, 28, was taken into custody by Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the DeLand area of Lake County early Tuesday morning, according to public records.

Rohrer is accused of zip-tying a man and ransacking his home, after his partner in crime, Kayla Louise Berlinski, 31, used a ruse to enter the home of Martin Bottom Jr. on May 12. Bottom Jr. said Berlinski arrived at his home, and he confronted her about a prior theft at his home. Berlinksi, wearing both a jacket and a hat emblazoned with “POLICE” told Bottom Jr. she was a law enforcement officer, and she was going to arrest him for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a probable affidavit states.

Bottom Jr. reached for his phone, and a man, later identified as Rohrer, then entered the victim’s home, took the phone and bound Bottom Jr.’s hands behind his back with zip ties. Berlinksi is accused of emptying the victim’s pockets as Rohrer went through the home and stole multiple items, including a .40 Glock handgun, cash and multiple electronics. Then they fled, leaving Bottom bound in his home.

Berlinski was taken into custody for the crimes May 14, just two hours after Inside Lake published its story on the incident. The pair is facing several serious charges, including armed home invasion, kidnapping, grand theft and grand theft of a firearm. Berlinski is facing an additional charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Rohrer is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond; Berlinski is being held on $40,000 bond.

Previous stories: Woman wanted for home invasion, impersonating law enforcement in custody – Inside Lake

 Pair wanted for zip-tying Paisley man and invading his home Sunday, 1 suspect accused of impersonating police officer – Inside Lake

2nd suspect in Paisley home invasion nabbed Tuesday Read More »

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