Police Briefs 1/5/23

Posted 1/4/23

Detective ‘following up on strong leads’ after teen shot to death

ORANGE PARK – The Orange Park Police Department is still canvassing the area around the Orange Park Athletic Association …

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Police Briefs 1/5/23


Detective ‘following up on strong leads’ after teen shot to death
ORANGE PARK – The Orange Park Police Department is still canvassing the area around the Orange Park Athletic Association complex for anyone who saw people playing basketball on Dec. 28 that may lead them to who shot and killed Drew Allan Wright III.
According to Lt. Cody Monroe, his agency was called around 3:46 p.m. by people who saw an argument led to Wright being shot. The park and a portion of Gano Avenue were shut down for hours while OPPD, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement looked for clues.
According to a statement released on Dec. 29, Wright died at 2:14 a.m., about 11 hours after the shooting. The department said it wouldn’t release many details that may hamper the investigation.
“Detectives are making good progress and following up on strong leads,” according to the statement.
Anyone who has information or knows the identity of anyone at the park during the afternoon of the shooting is asked to call the Orange Park Police Department at (04) 264-5555 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477.

Mother, son die in Orange Park apartment fire
ORANGE PARK – A mother and her son both died as the result of a fire at their Brentwood Lane apartment on Dec. 26.
Alexis Fitzgerald was removed from life support the day after the fire and she died at UF Health in Gainesville. Her 4-year-old son, Rozae, died at the scene.
The fire apparently started around an electrical strip near the Christmas tree. Fitzgerald’s son and sister escaped the fire.
According to a report, the smoke alarms didn’t activate.

Brothers charged with trafficking methamphetamine following raid
MIDDLEBURG – A pre-dawn raid on a home on Plankton Avenue resulted in the arrest of two brothers and the recovery on cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, marijuana, alprazolam pills, clonazepam pills and hydro morphine pills.
In addition to possession of the array of drugs, Devon Corey Justice, 29, also was charged with trafficking morphine and methamphetamine. According to the arrest report, the drugs were found in his living room, inside a safe, in his bedroom and on his nightstand.
His brother, 28-old Brandon Dean Justice, was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Devon Justice’s bond was set at $795,033, while his brother was released after posting a $5,003 bond.

Walmart employee charged with helping woman run from cops
MIDDLEBURG – A Walmart employee was charged with helping a woman suspected of shoplifting at the Orange Park Walmart escape from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Marcus Xavier Jordan, 27, was charged with aiding an escape after he drove to the woman who was running from deputies and gave her a ride from the scene. Jordan’s black Dodge was stopped a block away at Atlantic Storage.
Jordan gave consent for deputies to read text messages on his phone, and they saw messages from the woman who said “I’m about to make a run for it meet me by panda express.” Jordan also told the woman to tell deputies she needed to use the restroom, which would allow her to escape, but she said she already told them and they escorted her to the restroom.
Jordan’s bond was set at $5,003.

Man charged with damaging church window, pulpit
MIDDLEBURG – A 40-year-old man with a lengthy arrest record was charged with “maliciously and intentionally damaging a window, flower pots and wooden riser” at St. John Missionary Baptist Church on Dec. 28.
Joel Timothy Batdorf, of Middleburg, was charged with damaging a church after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious person on Brickyard Road. When deputies talked with Batdorf, they noticed he had a part of the pulpit with him, as well as a pipe and axe.
Since 2018, Batdorf has been arrested twice for domestic violence, four times for trespassing, assault while committing a felony, battery and petit theft.
His bond was set at $7,503.

Man busted for selling pot, pills to undercover deputy
JACKSONVILLE – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office tracked down a man wanted for selling marijuana and alprazolam pills to an undercover deputy.
Joshua Kitana Cuevas, 35, was arrested in Jacksonville after CCSO said sold the pot and pills for $480 to a deputy on Aug. 8. He also was charged with using his cellphone to facilitate a felony.
Cuevas is due in court on Jan. 31. Until then, his bond was set at $110,009.