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On March 31, 2014 at 7:55 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department received a call in reference to an adult male found deceased in a ditch in the area of 1100 Hodges Road. The deceased male was identified as Demetri...ce Tavontate Stacy, B/M, DOB 9/14/91, 1437 North Webster Avenue, Lakeland, Fla. The autopsy revealed the victim died of multiple gunshots wounds.

Evidence at the scene revealed that Stacy had been transported to the address on Hodges Road from another location. The Violent Crimes Detectives determined that the homicide occurred at 526 W. Myrtle Street. On April 3rd, the residence at this location was destroyed by arson.

During the investigation, detectives were hindered by witnesses who refused to cooperate or provide any statements. Detectives developed a suspect and a Grand Jury convened on October 16 at which time an indictment was received. During the Grand Jury, two witnesses who testified were charged with perjury in an official proceeding related to a capital felony. Those witnesses have been identified as; Marcus Andrews, 10/20/89 and Ian Young, 2/19/87. Both remain in jail as of this date.

The suspect, Marquell Rashad “Shad” Howard, DOB 11/28/84, was indicted on the below listed charges:

1. First Degree Murder
2. Tampering with a witness (2cts)
3. Aggravated Assault with a firearm
4. Tampering with physical evidence
5. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Howard is 5’6”, 160 lbs and his dreads may have been cut. He may possibly be driving a 2002 Ford explorer, 4 door, listed as gray but appears gold/champagne in color. The tag # is 239-1JE and he has been seen recently driving this vehicle. His last known address is 1550 11th Street NE, Winter Haven.

Howard is known to be in possession of firearms and should be considered armed and dangerous. If you have seen Howard or know where he is, please call Detective Brian Wallace with the Lakeland Police Department at 834-8968, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Anyone with information that helps locate Shad Howard can call Heartland Crime Stoppers, remain anonymous, and would be eligible for a CASH reward.


On August 6th at approximately 7:49 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 516 Oregon Avenue in reference to a report of gunfire. Responding officers located two victims that had been shot and they were later transported to LRMC. Victim (Davion D. Smith, 14 years of age) was later pronounced deceased by ER Trauma Surgeon at 8:25pm. Victim (Virgis Canteen, 43 years of age) was admitted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center and his condition at this time is unknown. Both victims had been shot numerous times.

During the initial investigation, Violent Crimes Detectives learned that victim, Virgis Canteen, reported a burglary to his apartment on 7-28-14. Detectives discovered that victim Canteen believed the decedent0, Davion Smith, was responsible for committing this burglary. On 8-6-14, Canteen advised detectives that the decedent approached him in front of his apartment and produced a handgun. Victim Canteen also had a handgun and according to Canteen, the decedent began shooting at him first striking him several times in the upper extremities. Victim Canteen advised that he returned fire and struck the decedent numerous times. This exchange of gunfire occurred in the courtyard in-between the duplex apartments at 516 & 504 Oregon Avenue.

No charges have been filed in this case pending further investigation. Detectives have a witness that observed the decedent and two other unidentified subjects taunting the victim Canteen earlier. Davion Daqon Smith is a documented gang member.  

Victim #1 – Virgis Canteen, 43 years of age.

                    516 Oregon Avenue

                    Lakeland, Fla.

Victim #2 – Davion Daquon Smith, 14 years of age.

                    412 Aberdeen Court South

                    Lakeland, Fla.

      Documented Gang Member

 

  

On May 18, the Lakeland Police Department officially formed the cold-case team of Detective Scott Kercher and Detective Brad Grice. In light of this recent focus on cold cases and attention by the State Attorney’s Office and The Ledgers series on cold cases, “It takes a community to solve a murder”, an indictment was served yesterday on Sylvester Nathaniel Smith, 32 yrs old,  for First Degree Murder. We are hoping that this is one many cases to come as a result of the newly formed Cold Case Unit.

 

On October 24, 2013 at approximately 10:12 p.m., several 911 calls were received about gunshots in the area of Gilmore Avenue and Parker Street. Patrol Officers responded and upon arrival located, Thomas Howard Garrison, 43 yrs old, with two gunshot wounds. Garrison was found lying at the end of the driveway at 708 East Parker Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  

Sylvester Nathaniel Smith is already incarcerated in the Polk County Jail on 3cts of Aggravated Battery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. These charges stem from a January 19th shooting at the Elks Lodge; 1026 N. Texas Avenue in which one victim was shot 5 times, another victim 1 time and a bystander was hit in the face with the handgun knocking him to the ground.  Smith was identified as the suspect in that case and has been in jail.

No other details are being released on the indictment at this time. A copy is attached.

  


On March 31, at 7:55 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department received a call in reference to an adult male found deceased in a ditch in the area of 1100 Prospect Street. The Violent Crimes Detectives responded to the scene and canvassed the area for witnesses as well as looking for any additional evidence. The State Attorney's Office and  Medical Examiner responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The autopsy performed later in the evening revealed that the victim had been shot numerous times. Detectives are not releasing how many times he was shot at this time. The victim has been identified as Demetrice Tavontate Stacy, B/M, DOB 9/14/91, 1437 North Webster Avenue, Lakeland, Fla.

This is investigation is still ongoing at this time and there have been no arrest. Anyone with information can call the Lakeland Police Department at 834-8950.