Police Briefs 2/1/18

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 1/31/18

Pedestrian killed in Blanding crashORANGE PARK – The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a Bushnell, Florida woman died last weekend while trying to walk across Blanding Boulevard near the …

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Police Briefs 2/1/18


Pedestrian killed in Blanding crash

ORANGE PARK – The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a Bushnell, Florida woman died last weekend while trying to walk across Blanding Boulevard near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue.

FHP said Taylor Nicole Johnson, 19, was walking outside of the crosswalk on Jan. 27 at 6:34 p.m. when she was struck and killed by a 2003 Ford Escort driven by Taylor Renee Burnham, 19, of Middleburg.

According to the FHP report, Burnham was traveling north in the center lane and failed to notice Johnson in the roadway.

Police said Burnham came to a complete stop after her car struck Johnson and pulled into the gas station at the corner of Blanding and Jefferson.

FHP said charges are pending due to the outcome of the investigation.

$35K bond in elder abuse arrest

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reports that a former Clay County resident turned herself in last week to face charges of exploiting the elderly and grand theft.

Officers charged Pamela Williams Denton, 50, of Thomasville, North Carolina, with stealing at least $15,783 from her 81-year-old former Clay County neighbor.

According to the warrant, the victim’s wife called the CCSO on November 1, 2017 after reviewing the family bank statements for their credit cards.

The woman said Denton assisted the victim with daily tasks, such as transporting him to medical appointments and doing his grocery shopping.

“The defendant had access to the victim’s home and was trusted by the victim and his 78-year-old wife…[redaction on warrant],” states the warrant.

According to the warrant, Denton allegedly wrote at least one check from the victim’s account for $900.

At press time, Denton remained in the Clay County Jail where her bond is set at $35,006. She faces one count each of exploitation of the elderly valued less than $10,000 and grand theft valued at $300-$4,999.

Bannerman student charged with false report of crime

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A school fight has led authorities to file a probation violation charge against a Bannerman Learning Center student.

On Jan. 25, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office charged Ryan Allen Musick, 19, of Green Cove Springs, with violating terms of a 2016 probation agreement. During that arrest, he was charged with falsely reporting the use of firearms in a violent manner.

According to the October 25, 2016 arrest report, Musick allegedly said that “someone should come shoot up this stupid school.” He was given the probation violation charge due to a new charge he was handed on Jan. 22 this month. CCSO charged Musick with simple battery for allegedly grabbing a fellow student by the neck and hitting him in the face on Jan. 22 at the school.

At press time, Musick remained the Clay County Jail without bond.

Man charged with pointing gun at mother-in-law’s head

FLEMING ISLAND – A Fleming Island man faces one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following an investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Police arrested Matthew Keith George Byatt, 42, on Jan. 24 at 2:48 a.m. at his home on Sunnycreek Drive.

According to the police report, Byatt “entered his home in a rage yelling and screaming” and accused his 65-year-old mother-in-law of saying he was having an affair.

Police said Byatt went into the mother-in-law’s room to confront her and yelled and pointed his finger in her face. He went on to allegedly pull out a handgun and pointed directly in the woman’s forehead.

When Byatt realized police had been called, he fled the home and went to his place of employment in the Industrial Loop near Orange Park. Police arrived on the scene having obtained a warrant from Clay County Judge Kristina Mobley and called the business to tell Byatt he should surrender, when he did peacefully.

Since his arrest, Byatt has been released from the Clay County Jail where his bond had been $75,000.

High schooler killed in train crash

ORANGE PARK – Authorities investigated a fatal train crash the morning of Jan. 26 that claimed the life of a Fleming Island High student.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol had officers on the scene of the crash at the intersection of Doctors Lake and Parkside drives. While the name of the student, who was struck at 7:59 a.m. while walking on the tracks, has not been released, the Clay County School District released a statement about her death.

“Clay County District Schools is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a Fleming Island High School student involved in a train crash this morning. Our hearts are heavy and our condolences go out to the family, friends, and the community. To support the well-being of students and staff, mental health counselors will be available today and as needed during this difficult time,” states the school district.

None of the 329 Amtrak Train passengers were injured in the crash, but train service was temporarily suspended while the investigation got underway. The train was heading south to Sanford, Florida when the crash occurred.


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