Public Information

Press Releases

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.

An 89-year-old woman is now in good hands after falling ill inside her home. Dispatchers tried to get a hold of the Freeport native at 8am Tuesday morning May 12th, but were unable to reach her.

Deputy Justin Tisdale was dispatched to the home where he and dispatchers continued to try to make contact with her. Tisdale could hear a television, but the woman did not come to the door. After several attempts to make contact the deputy made entry into the home and found the victim on the floor. She was responsive and EMS responded and transported her to Sacred Heart Hospital.

Wednesday Michael Johnson, a volunteer member of the WCSO Posse, checked-in on the woman in the hospital bringing her flowers and visiting using personal money and time.

Safety Net is an elderly call care service where participants can be called between 6am and 8am to be checked on daily. If contact cannot be made after multiple attempts than a deputy is called to respond. Walton County Sheriff’s Office has been participating in the effort for 30 years.


For information on client enrollment or to make a donation, you may contact Volunteer Coordinator Leah Snaith at (850) 892-8186.

Stacey Wade Ward, 40, is behind bars after chasing his step son through their home with a frying pan Wednesday.

At approximately 7pm on May 13th deputies were dispatched to a domestic dispute in progress on Palm Street in Freeport. The victim told authorities Ward was cussing and threatening him when the assault took place.

Before deputies arrived Ward fled the property in a green GMC. Deputies later caught up with the suspect and conducted a traffic stop. 


Ward was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill. 

Thanks to a thorough investigation by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office a Santa Rosa man will be behind bars for 15 years after being arrested for a series of burglaries in the South Walton Area.

Thomas Walter Courtig Howells IV, 24, was first arrested by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in April 2013 when he was suspected of stealing fishing equipment, jewelry, and firearms totaling more than $25,000 from homes on Driftwood Point Court and East Mack Bayou in Santa Rosa.

Since his arrest Howells has also been charged with possession of contraband into a detention facility when Correctional Officers discovered a shank in his cell in November of 2014.


This week the State Attorney’s Office conducted a plea deal with Howells. He was transported of the Department of Corrections early Wednesday morning. 

On Friday May 9th a Black Ford Explorer driven by 18-year-old Jaylen Powell was observed by deputies in Walton County pulling into a residence. The deputy knew the owners of the home and did not recognize the subject.

When the deputy pulled out to engage the man he accelerated his vehicle nearly wrecking several times. The deputy stopped pursuit of the vehicle and returned to the home to see if anything was taken.

Just minutes later an off-duty WCSO Lieutenant Artie Rodriguez made contact with the deputy saying Powell crashed his SUV in front of Rodriguez's home ¼ of a mile where the pursuit ended, fleeing on foot into the woods behind his house.

Lt. Rodriguez spotted the driver running north into the woods.  A responding deputy stopped and entered the woods near the area he was spotted.  He and Lt. Rodriguez spotted Powell running westbound and began chasing on foot.  As the two grew closer the suspect yelled he was giving up and put his hands into the air.

Powell was transported to the Walton County Jail and is charged with attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.

Powell is currently on probation and is a registered sexual predator for sexual battery on a juvenile victim under 12 years of age in 2011. 


With the help of the Walton County Sheriff's Office the Defuniak Springs Police Department has made an arrest in a number of burglaries in the area including the Petro Burglary which occurred early Thursday morning.

That man has been identified as Charles Ray Gann, 33 of Defuniak Springs. He is now charged with three counts of felony burglary, grand theft, and criminal mischief after he was caught on video surveillance at the Petro Gas Station. It took authorities less than 24 hours to identify Gann and make an arrest.

We could not do our jobs without the constant support and help from the community.

Defuniak Springs Police Department is lead on this case.



Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr.'s photo.

Cachet Smith, 26, is behind bars tonight arrested on multiple charges including felony domestic battery and battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

On May 5th, 2015 deputies were called to a home off Ruckel Drive in Defuniak Springs in reference to a domestic dispute. When deputies arrived they could hear screaming, yelling, and the sound of shattering dishes. When deputies made their way inside the home they saw Smith strangling the victim around the throat with both hands.

...As deputies tried to break-up the fight, Smith continued to fight her way back to the victim by pushing the deputy on scene out of the way and attempting to punch him. Deputies were able to restrain Smith and place her under arrest.

Three juveniles were also present during the physical altercation between Smith and the victim.

Smith was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation, Burglary with Battery, Resisting an Officer with Violence, and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

She was transported to the Walton County Jail.


On January 27th, 2015, Walton County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies, K9 Unit, Investigators and Crime Scene Unit, along with members of the Walton Corrections Institute K9 Unit, responded to an armed robbery that occurred shortly after 7 pm at the EZ Serve, located at 10970 Co Hwy 30A East.  A white male came into the store carrying a handgun and took $779.94 from the register and fled on foot.  Finger print and DNA samples from the scene were collected as evidence and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Evidence Laboratory for analysis.  On April 2nd, the sheriff’s office received a report that the DNA and finger prints belonged to 32 year old Simeon Lee Prevatt, of 800 Wrights Creek Road, Caryville, FL. 


Prevatt is currently serving time at the Holmes County Jail and has a hold placed on him from Walton County pending extradition. 


Deputies responded to a Freeport residence yesterday morning (April 15) after WCSO Dispatch received a call from a girl in need of medical assistance.  Deputies knocked on the door and identified themselves and asked if anyone was inside the residence by the name the caller had given to the communications officer.  A male’s voice was heard and stated “No.”  Dispatch advised deputies that the caller stated she heard the male say no and that she was inside the residence.  Deputies opened the door and saw a black male, later identified as 50 year old Dan Wayne Marshall, laying on the couch to the right of the front door completely naked, with his genitalia fully exposed.  The deputy asked Marshall if there was someone else in the residence and he again stated, “No.”  Deputies heard a gasp for air and observed a young female laying on the couch who appeared to have trouble breathing.


Deputies overheard the victim tell emergency responders on scene that “He Raped Me.”  The victim was transported to a local hospital and it was relayed to medical personnel that the victim stated that she was given alcohol mixed with juice by the suspect.  The victim disclosed to an investigator that the suspect penetrated her vaginally with his penis.


Marshall is booked at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail and charged with sexual assault and incest.

Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Jr. and members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Communications Department will be awarded the 2014 Community Partner Award from LifeNet Health of Florida.  The award is given annually to public safety programs who demonstrate compassion, compliance and consistency in fulfilling the final wishes for tissue and eye donation of hospice patients and at home deaths.  The sheriff’s office has partnered with LifeNet Health to ensure that all citizens have the option to honor the wishes of their loved ones to help others who are in need of transplant tissue.


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard Unit will participate in a flag raising ceremony during an award presentation that will take place on Thursday, April 23rd at 9:30 a.m. at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, located at 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs.  The Media is invited to attend and cover this event.


Deputies responded to a domestic violence call last night (Monday, April 13) at a residence in DeFuniak Springs.  After speaking to the victims and witnesses, patrol deputies learned that a verbal altercation had taken place between James Franklin Sparra, 48, and another individual who was at the residence.  Sparra threatened the individual by telling him he was going to cut him and chased him outside the residence while being armed with a kitchen knife.  Sparra came back to the residence, went inside and began pouring gasoline inside the home where his girlfriend and child were present.  Sparra also poured gasoline onto the waist and legs of his girlfriend and stated they would "burn in hell" and attempted to light the fumes with a lighter found in his possession.

Sparra was placed under arrest, transported and booked at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail. Sparra is charged with assault, arson and cruelty towards a child.