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On June 18, 2013, Lakeland Police Department received information that Officer David Edds allegedly provided testimony at trial in a DUI case that was untruthful. Chief Lisa Womack immediately opened an internal Administrative Investigation into this matter.

The Administrative Investigation was completed on October 16, 2013 with a recommended action of termination. Officer Edds resigned in lieu of termination.

Sustained charges on Officer David Edds (OPS #13-018):

• Job Knowledge, Competency, and Performance
• Neglect of Duty
• Untruthfulness
• Unlawful Conduct
• Improper Conduct
• Conduct Unbecoming

The Administrative Investigation of Sergeant Ray Lloyd is still under review.


On July 16, 2013, State Attorney Jerry Hill sent a letter to Chief Lisa Womack in reference to testimony by Officer David Edds and Sergeant Ray Lloyd in which he referenced Lieutenant Hans Lehman interfering in an investigation his office was conducting. Chief Lisa Womack initiated an internal Administrative Investigation into Lieutenant Hans Lehman and the allegations.

The Administrative Investigation has been completed and Lieutenant Hans Lehman has been cleared. The investigation found that Lieutenant Lehman did not discuss the case under criminal investigation (defendant named Barber) by the State Attorney’s office. Instead he discussed another case (defendant named Talman, this case was closed on October 30, 2012) and subsequently notified the State Attorney’s Office of the second case. The investigation included review of the State Attorney’s Office investigative report, follow up information obtained from SAO Investigator, interviews with LPD personnel and computer forensics.

Findings (OPS #13-023):

Count 1 - Interference in Investigations – Unfounded
Count 2 - Interference in Investigations - Exonerated
Count 3 – Interference in Investigations – Not Sustained


On October 16, 2013, Victim Advocate Jackie Suggs resigned after being notified of recommendation for termination.

Sustained findings (OPS #13-029):
• Neglect of Duty
• Member’s Duty to Report Misconduct


Other Updates:

The Administrative Investigation in the case of former Officer Julio Pagan has been closed. The Administrative Investigation into the actions of Communications Center personnel is complete pending the receipt of documentation from the State Attorney’s Office. It is anticipated that this file will be forwarded to the supervisory chain of command Monday for disciplinary action.


 

$3,000.00 REWARD

Crime stoppers has authorized a reward of $3,000.00 for information leading to the identity and arrest of individuals involved in the murder of Ricky Wright, excluding Steven Foster, who has turned himself in.

 


Lakeland Police are actively looking for Steven “Prince” Foster in connection with the murder of Ricky Wright on October 10, 2013. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for First Degree Murder. Anyone with information on the location of Steven Foster is asked to contact the Lakeland Police Detective Russell Hurley 863-834-8973 or Detective Brian Wallace at 863-834-8968.

DESCRIPTION: B/M approximately 18 years old, 5’10”, 175 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes

*****ORIGINAL RELEASE*****

On October 10, 2013at approximately 11:30 pm, officers responded to 808 West Whitehurst Street where they discovered a 16 year old black male juvenile (later identified as Ricky Wright, DOB 7/7/97) had been shot.  Wright was transported to LRMC where he later died as a result of the injuries sustained from the shooting.

Witnesses interviewed at the scene stated a blue or gray vehicle pulled up to the residence and fired shots from the vehicle at the victim who was in the yard at 808 West Whitehurst Street. According to witnesses, there was more than one person in the vehicle. The vehicle then fled the area. At this time the suspect of the shooting has not been identified, but detectives are pursuing leads at this time.

No additional information will be released at this time as this remains on ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this shooting is asked to contact the Lakeland Police Department, Detective Russell Hurley at 863-834-8973.


On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., eat at Chick-fil-A at 4625 South Florida Avenue and they will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Cops for Kids program.  Donations will help provide children with a happy holiday.  We will also be accepting new, unwrapped toy donations at this event.

Mark your calendars to join us on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Chick-fil-A located at 4132 US Highway 98 N.