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Police Briefs 3/31/22

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 3/30/22

Turner gets 55 years, avoids death sentence for killing Keystone Heights womanGREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Judge sentenced a neighbor of a 25-yer-old girl who was raped and murdered to 55 …

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Police Briefs 3/31/22


Turner gets 55 years, avoids death sentence for killing
Keystone Heights woman

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Judge sentenced a neighbor of a 25-yer-old girl who was raped and murdered to 55 years in prison on March 25. Judge Steven B. Whittington’s sentence also means Joe Arthur Turner, 31, won’t be sent to Florida’s Death Row.
Turner pled guilty to second-degree murder, rape and burglary on March 10 to avoid the state’s harshest penalty. Turner must serve all 55 years before being eligible for parole.
Turner admitted he killed Jordan Cooper in 2017 during what deputies was a robbery. She was found “in a concealed, a very concealed location, within the residence,” according to former Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels. Investigators later said he was wrapped in insulation in the attic.
She was suffocated, the medical examiner said. Cooper had the mental capacity of a 13-year-old, her family said.
Cooper was reported missing on Nov. 25, 2017. The sheriff’s office said they found clothing from Cooper’s home at Turner’s house. They also said they recovered a bandage at the scene that matched Turner’s DNA which was collected in the rape kit. He was arrested on Jan. 19, 2018, and a grand jury indicted him on the murder charges on June 25, 2018. She was suffocated, the medical examiner said. Cooper had the mental capacity of a 13-year-old, her family said.

Couple sleeping in car arrested after cache of drugs discovered
MIDDLEBURG – A couple who fell asleep in a parked car on Hereford Road were arrested after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office found a cache of drugs inside the car.
Robert Cameron Simmons, 49, of Dothan, Alabama, was charged with trafficking 9.3 grams of fentanyl, possessing of 3.6 grams of methamphetamine, a Xanax pill, a syringe loaded with fentanyl and a variety of paraphernalia items including a spoon, butane torches, straw, two glass pipes and tourniquets, while Caitlyn Ashleigh Morgan Buckner, 24, of Orange Park, was charged with possessing crack cocaine, trafficking 10.4 grams of fentanyl, a Clonazepam pill, a syringe loaded with fentanyl, 37 empty syringes, and several paraphernalia items as well as introducing contraband into the Clay County Jail.
According to the arrest report, a deputy responded to a report of a suspicious car parked at the end of the road at 6:11 a.m. on March 23. Deputies found the two sleeping in the front seat and they saw a plastic bag with white powder, syringe caps and cotton balls in the center console.
Detention deputies found packages of Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Film concealed in her purse during the booking process.
Simmons’ bond was set at $285,511; Buckner’s bond was set at $266,266.

CCSO: Man arrested for
spanking boy for ‘passing gas’
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A father was arrested after his son returned from a weekend custodial visit with a bruised buttock, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.
William James Costello, 38, of Keystone Heights, was charged with cruelty toward a child after deputies said his 6-year-old son apparently was spanked for not admitting to “passing gas.”
The boy lives in Bradford County, but Costello lived in Keystone Heights where the boy was spanked in late January.
The boy’s mother received a text message from her ex-husband explaining why the boy had “significant bruising on his buttocks.” The message said he spanked the boy for “continuously lying,” including about “passing gas.”
According to the arrest warrant, an examination revealed the boy likely was spanked with a spatula or a similar slotted object.
Costello refused to answer questions from the sheriff’s office or the Department of Children and Families. He was arrested on March 22 and ordered not to be within 2,500 feet of his son. His bond was set at $25,003.

Man busted during drug bust monitored by sheriff’s office

ORANGE PARK – A local man was arrested after he sold fentanyl and crack cocaine to a confidential informant, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Jay Dewayne Brown, 45, also was charged with trafficking fentanyl, possessing crack cocaine, methamphetamine, six alprazolam pills, a Xanax pill and paraphernalia after the sheriff’s office set up a buy in the parking lot of a drug store on Blanding Boulevard on March 22.
According to the arrest report, deputies said Brown appeared to be under the influence of narcotics and was asleep in the car when the informant arrived. Brown then attempted to leave the parking lot, but deputies stopped him because he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.
Clay County Fire Rescue was called to make sure Brown wasn’t “suffering from a medical episode or a possible overdose.” He was cleared by EMTs and Brown declined to be transported to the hospital.
Deputies discovered the drugs in the driver’s door.
Brown’s bond was set at $415,018.

Pot, handguns discovered
during traffic stop on Wells Road
ORANGE PARK – A traffic stop for a burned-out headlight led to the discovery of two unlicensed handguns and nearly a pound of marijuana Friday night.
Bryce Nicholas Trombley, 18, of Jacksonville, was charged with possession of guns and marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia after he was stopped on Wells Road after a Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy made a “proactive” stop for the headlight. According to the arrest report, when the deputy approached the car, he detected the smell of marijuana. When Trombley got out of the car, he dropped a plastic bag with marijuana in it in front of the patrol car. In all, deputies then found two guns, live ammunition and 375 grams of marijuana. Trombley’s bond was set at 425,008.