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Jonathan Michael Saylor, 38, of 4115 E Hwy 20, Freeport, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 36 months state prison time and $975.00 worth of legal fees for sexual battery.  On December 23rd, 2013, Saylor held a victim against her will, with a knife to her throat and sexually battered her.  After reviewing all the evidence, deputies and investigators with the WCSO arrived at Saylor’s residence on January 10, 2014, to arrest him.  Saylor fled the scene and a brief struggle took place when he was apprehended.  The Sheriff’s Office charged Saylor with battery, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, sexual assault and resisting an officer with violence. 

 

 

On Monday, September 22, deputies responded to a domestic violence call in the area of Kylea Laird Road in Freeport.  The caller stated that his children’s mother had rammed his vehicle with her car intentionally to try and get him to stop and give their son to her.  After speaking to all parties involved, to include two children ages 14 and 11, Tara McCullers, 32, was charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and 2 counts of child abuse.  McCullers intentionally struck/rammed Jerald Hansley’s truck with her car, she attempted to intimidate and/or scare Hansley who is the father of her children and did put fear in both children who stated they were scared during the incident.  The 14 year old child, who was in the vehicle with McCullers, hit her head during one of the intentional strikes of the two vehicles but did not sustain injuries.  

 



 
Top Left: Simmons Top Right: Ritchie Bottom Left: Ramirez
Steven Ryan Ritchie, 23, was sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Corrections, based on six prior out-of-state felony convictions and he is also designated as a Habitual Felony Offender. ... Ritchie plead guilty September 4th, to include: resisting an officer with violence, grand theft auto, burglary of a dwelling, two counts of grand theft, two counts of burglary of a conveyance and destroying electronic monitoring equipment. Ritchie was arrested and charged August 27th by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, leaving a scene of an accident with injuries, resisting arrest with violence and grand theft auto. Ritchie was driving a 1999 blue Jeep Wrangler which was reported stolen out of Miramar Beach. Upon contact, Ritchie rammed the jeep into a deputy’s patrol car, pinning the deputy inside the vehicle and causing injury to the deputy’s shoulder. Ritchie fled on foot but was apprehended nearly 5 hours later by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office secured a search warrant for his DNA. Upon receipt, it was determined that Ritchie was a match for several burglaries that had occurred in the Santa Rosa Beach area.
Gerald Wayne Simmons, 26, was convicted by a Walton County Jury on August 13, for his participation in the burglary of a dwelling while armed with a firearm and dealing in stolen property. Simmons was sentenced to 30 years in the Department of Corrections with the first ten to be a minimum mandatory sentence for the burglary of a dwelling while armed. The dealing in stolen property conviction is to be served consecutively. On May 23, 2013, the victim arrived and found his home burglarized. Among the items taken, were several firearms, a large amount of cash and jewelry. Walton County Sheriff’s investigators were able to determine the defendant had pawned several pieces of jewelry on May 24, 2013, including a class ring clearly identified as the victims.

Chrispin Pedro Ramirez, 22, is sentenced to life in prison without parole for first degree murder of Arthur Anderson, 77. Ramirez was also sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling with assault and 50 years in prison for arson of a dwelling, grand theft auto, resisting arrest with violence, discharge of a fire bomb and destruction of a fire safety device. All sentences were imposed consecutively. The charges stem from Ramirez stabbing Anderson when he discovered Ramirez and 16 year old Haley Bowden unlawfully inhabiting a home for which he was the caretaker. After stabbing Anderson, Ramirez set fire to the dwelling and stole Anderson’s vehicle. After being apprehended, Ramirez threatened deputies with weapons and resisted arrest. Ramirez confessed fully to all crimes for which he was charged. The crime of destruction of a fire safety device arose from Ramirez’s damaging a fire sprinkler in his cell in the Walton County jail on May 6, 2013. Co-defendant Haley Bowden is still facing prosecution for her part in Anderson’s murder and the connected crimes.
(L to R: Ritchie, Simmons and Ramirez)
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Due to yesterday’s lightning strike, the jail’s inmate phone system and video visitation is currently down.  The water supply was also down for several hours but has been fixed. We are working quickly to resolve the issues and appreciate the public’s patience during this outage. 

 

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce its next Citizen Law Enforcement Academy, which will begin on October 9, 2014.  For citizens who want a truly eye opening experience about law enforcement, this is where it all starts.  Participants will spend about three hours in a class room once a week for approximately 10 weeks.  The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is a great program for any citizen who wishes to learn more about the field of law enforcement and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The class is FREE and will take place at the Sheriff’s Office Administration building located at 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs.  A background check will be conducted on all participants who sign-up.  To sign-up please visit http://waltonso.org/wcso-citizen-sheriff-s-academy-application and fill out the application online.  Forms must be submitted by October 3rd. 

 

Some of the topics that will be covered during the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy include:

 

  • Patrol Procedures
  • Arrest Procedures
  • Dispatch & 9-1-1
  • Crime Scene    Investigations
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Narcotics Investigations
  • Traffic & DUI
  • K-9
  • School Resource Deputies
  • Firearm Safety/ Firing Range
  • Crime Prevention
  • Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers
  • Media & Public Relations
  • Emergency Management
  • Jail Tour
  • Defensive Tactics/R.A.D Demonstration
  • Aviation Unit
  • SWAT

 

For more information please contact Deputy Harold Shover at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 850.635.5484.  Or visit our website at http://waltonso.org/citizen-services/citizen-law-enforcement-academy.

 

 

Garrett Scott Teal, 21, of 2609 Palamino Trail, Crestview, was arrested on Saturday, September 6th.  Teal is charged with “obscene communication use computer to seduce lure child.”  An undercover investigation began in May 2014, using a smartphone application to target individuals soliciting minors to engage in sexual activity.  On May 6, the investigator posted “Bored young female…J.”  On the same day, Teal replied to the post by sending a private message.  During the course of the conversation, it was made known to Teal that he was communicating with a 14 year old girl.  Teal knowingly solicited the minor to engage in sexual activity. 

 

Teal has been ordered by Judge David Green to have no contact with minors. 

 

 

A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive October 20, 2014, to examine all aspects of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures, management, operations, and support service.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has to comply with approximately 260 standards in order to receive accredited status.  Many of the standards are critical to life, health and safety issues.

 

 

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team.  A copy of the standards is available through Walton County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Catherine Rodriguez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

 

 

For more information regarding CFA or for persons wishing to offer written comments about the Walton County Sheriff’s Office ability to meet the standards of accreditation, please write:

 

CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida  32302, or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

The Accreditation Program Manager for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is Lieutenant Jimmy Fannin.  He said the assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies.  The assessors will review written materials; interview individuals; and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed. 

 

 

Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office accreditation is for 3 years.  “Verification by the team that the Walton County Sheriff’s Office meets the Commission’s standards is part of a voluntary process to gain or maintain accreditation--a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” Lieutenant Jimmy Fannin said.

 

Posted by on in Press Releases

 

The mother of three year old Karson Howell, who drowned in the family pool September 3rd, was arrested early this evening.  Stephanie Ann Howell, 22, was arrested without incident at 8212 Hwy 331 North, DeFuniak Springs, by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.  Howell is charged with child neglect.   Howell is booked at the Walton County Jail and will see the judge tomorrow morning where bond will be set.   

 

More information will be released as it becomes available.

 

 

Flanagan was adjudicated on 04/24/2003 for lewd or lascivious molestation victim under 12 years old in Walton County, FL.  Flanagan’s current address is 95 Seminole Drive, DeFuniak Springs.

 

Flanagan is a 26 year old white male, with brown hair and blue eyes, 5’06” and 168 lbs.

 

There are currently 144 registered sex offenders/predators living in Walton County.

 

The WCSO encourages families to visit www.flsexoffender.net to subscribe to receive e-mail alert notifications when registered sexual offenders or predators move into neighborhoods.  WCSO also encourages citizens to use the neighborhood search feature prior to signing up for alerts to identify registered sexual offenders and predators currently living in neighborhoods.

 

 

O’Briant was convicted in Columbus, Ohio for Pandering Obscenity VIC Minor on 05/21/2014.  O’Briant’s new address is 316 Bonita Drive, DeFuniak Springs. 

 

Sapp is a 46 year old white male with a brown hair and brown eyes, 6’00” and 220 lbs

 

There are currently 144 registered sex offenders/predators living in Walton County.

 

The WCSO encourages families to visit www.flsexoffender.net to subscribe to receive e-mail alert notifications when registered sexual offenders or predators move into neighborhoods.  WCSO also encourages citizens to use the neighborhood search feature prior to signing up for alerts to identify registered sexual offenders and predators currently living in neighborhoods.