News Cast for December 5th:

After an investigation, Florida Highway Patrol officers have finally arrested an Iowa, Louisiana man who critically injured an Okeechobee woman and killed two Lehigh Acres men in an accident last January. FHP officers say on January 4th of this year, 40 year old Benjamin Desjardine, who was drunk at the time, was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck at a high rate of speed north on State Route 721 near Highway 78 in Glades County just after eleven o’clock when he drifted into the southbound lanes, causing an oncoming vehicle to swerve and avoid Desjardine before Desjardine hit another oncoming vehicle, driven by 55 year old Michael Steven Furrow. FHP officers say the driver of a fourth vehicle, which had been transporting 20 year old Tracy Agnes Cypress, tried to stop to render aid to the victims but the darkness of the area caused the driver to hit Furrow’s car and then hit Cypress who had gotten out of the car earlier. Furrow and his passenger, 71 year old Robert Lewis Yale, were both pronounced dead at the scene and Cypress was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. Desjardine who sustained serious injuries in the accident, was arrested this past Monday on two counts of DUI manslaughter and property damage following the issuance of a felony arrest warrant.

The Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center will be getting a new, much needed piece of equipment thanks to county commissioners at their last meeting. Commissioners approved the purchase of a John Deere 304K Compact Wheel Loader, which is a small machine with a large lift and it has the capability to pick up concrete barricades to move around for different events at the Agri-Civic Center. It’s also used for crowd control and it’s also small enough to fit in and out of buildings. Agri-Civic Center Manager Matt Dorriety says the addition of this piece of equipment couldn’t have come at a better time. The wheel loader will cost about $78 thousand five hundred dollars and it will come from locally-based Everglades Equipment Group.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Mulberry man Friday afternoon on several drug charges following a traffic stop. Deputies responded to the Lock 7 area on Highway 78 West a little after four o’clock for a suspicious vehicle report and came across two people sleeping in the vehicle. Deputies asked the driver, 42 year old Kelly Harper Davis, for his identification. Davis granted deputies permission to search him and his vehicle. While searching Davis, deputies found a bag in his pocket with about five grams of marijuana in it and a syringe with Dilaudid residue in it. A K-9 search of Davis’s car turned up a spoon with methamphetamine residue on it. Medics were called to the area because Davis’s female passenger started acting delusional. She eventually was transported to Raulerson Hospital for treatment. Davis was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, a controlled substance without a prescription and drug paraphernalia. He was taken to county jail and he’s being held on a $17 thousand dollar bond.

Investigators from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department are looking for the person or persons responsible for shooting two Lake Placid men in the early morning hours late last month. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says deputies responded to the Highway Park Liquors just after four o’clock on November 24th and found two victims of a shooting, Tavaris James and Robert Willis. Dressel says both men were found in an empty lot behind the liquor store. Dressel says while investigators don’t have much information at the moment, there is some information about a car that left the scene before authorities arrived. Dressel says James’ and Willis’s wounds are not life threatening and they are expected to make a full recovery. If you have information on this incident, please contact the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department.

On the arrest report:

19 year old Edgerrin James Billie of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on previous charges of burglary, grand theft and petit theft. He’s being held without bond.

37 year old Scarlett Rose Yates of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft. Her bond is set at a thousand dollars.

47 year old Jill Kimberly Ehrlich of Huntington, NY was arrested by police on several warrants from St. Lucie County for cocaine possession. Her bond is set at $100 thousand dollars.