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UPDATE…UPDATE…On Domestic Violence Victim Stabbed 22 times

On Friday, January 09, 2015, at approximately 2:45 p.m. Agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force apprehended Theron Brown in Marion County Florida. The criminal investigation conducted with the M.F.R.F.T.F. and detectives with the Lakeland Police Department revealed Theron Brown had assumed a different identity and was hiding in the Ocala, Florida. He was apprehended without incident, and LPD Detectives are traveling to Marion County in an effort to complete their investigation. There are no additional details at this time

On January 4, 2015, at 11:09 p.m. the Lakeland Police Department received a call in reference to a stabbing. The victim was stabbed at 1234 jewel Avenue in her vehicle and she drove herself to the Chevron Station, 1615 W. Memorial Blvd for safety. An employee at the Chevron Station called 911 for the victim.

When the police arrived at the station, the victim was responsive and identified the suspect by name and as has her boyfriend for 1 year. The victim was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and immediately taken into surgery. The victim had been stabbed 22 times with wounds to her head, chest, back and arms.

Patrol officers and detectives attempted to locate the suspect at his residence but he had fled the area. Detectives are currently in the process of obtaining a warrant for Attempted Murder.  The suspects address is not being released at this time due to a pending investigation.  If anyone has information on the location of the suspect, please contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.

This investigation is still ongoing at this time.

The victim has been identified as: Latoya Jean Schuler, 27 yrs old.

Suspect: Theron Brown, 4/14/78.

On January 1st, at approximately 5:30 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a disturbance call in the 600 block of W. 9th Street. A neighbor next door called 911 and reported that he could hear a female screaming, “Give me the gun” and he could also hear things being thrown around. The neighbor continued to tell the 911 operator that could hear a female saying “don’t do that” and he could tell she was crying. Responding officers could still hear the female pleading for help saying, “ Oh God, don’t do that”. Fearing the females’ life was in immediate danger, the officers announced to the dispatcher and responding officers that he was going to do forced entry. 

Shortly afterwards, the female ran out the back door and was quickly escorted off to the side. The suspect came running out the same back door with a firearm and Officer John Renew, was at the north east corner of the house. Officer Renew, using his flashlight to illuminate the suspect spotted an object being concealed under his clothing.  The suspect then produced a firearm and Officer Renew ordered him to drop it. The suspect began to turn towards Officer Renew with the firearm ignoring the officers’ commands to drop the firearm. At this time, Officer Renew fired one round at the suspect in fear of his life. The suspect was not hit by the round and he immediately dropped his weapon at which time he was taken into custody. The firearm, a semi-automatic, was found on the ground with one round in the chamber.

The victim has been dating the suspect for 2 months and they live together.  She stated that during the argument, the suspect point the firearm at her head, threatened to kill her and at one point, tried to strangle her.

The suspect is identified as: Martino A. Souffrant, Jr., dob, 10/6/80, West 9th Street, Lakeland. He has not been charged yet. 

The Violent Crimes Unit and State Attorney’s Office responded to the scene to investigate the shooting. The investigation is still ongoing at this time. 

The officer involved in the shooting has been identified as: Officer John Renew, 38 years old, employed since September, 2014. Per department policy, the officer will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.




Arrested Just In Time to Celebrate News Years in Jail

Murder suspect, Marquell Howard was taken into custody today by the U.S. Marshals, Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and delivered to the Lakeland Police Department. He was arrested without incident at 1233 Rawls Drive in Lakeland. 

The U.S. Marshals received a tip on his location and acted swiftly in taking him into custody. We would like to thank of all you who called in the many tips through Crime Stoppers and directly to LPD. Getting this fugitive off the streets was a top priority for LPD. One of the many reason for us to celebrate a Happy New Years with Howard off the street. 

Update on Infant Death from December 23, 2014

On December 23rd, the Lakeland Police Department investigated the tragic death of infant, Betsey Kee Stephens. The 22 day old infant died while in the custody of her parents who went to the Golden Corral to eat.


The Violent Crimes Detectives have worked endlessly on this case conducting interviews, background checks, reviewing evidence and preparing search warrants. The Medical Examiner findings revealed that the infant died of malnutrition as a result of starvation. Both parents have been taken into custody at this time and charged with First Degree Murder.