Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sexual Assault Investigation

January 17, 2019

On January 12, 2019 members of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Uniformed Patrol Division and the Criminal Investigations Division responded to a home in Bronson after receiving a report of sexual misconduct. The caller told deputies she entered the living room area of the home and witnessed Erik Donald (1-8-65) kneeling beside her sleeping family member who is under the age of 18. The caller said she saw Donald had partially pulled the front of his pants down and the front of her sleeping family member’s pants were also pulled down. When Donald realized he was being watched he quickly pulled both his pants and the sleeping child’s pants up and stated “it’s not what it looks like.”

Donald fled the scene prior to law enforcement’s arrival. Donald, who was recently released from the Florida Department of Corrections, could not be found. An extensive search in the days following did not locate Donald either.

On January 15, 2019 a Bronson resident using a trail through a small section of woods located a subject hanging from a tree. Deputies responded to this scene and identified the deceased person and Erik Donald. Donald left a suicide note that had vague references to the earlier reported crime which is still under investigation.

The sexual misconduct investigation is currently on-going and the victim is receiving services to aid her through this process. The investigation into Donald’s suicide has been closed as no evidence was located which would indicate any other person was responsible or participated in his death.     

Joint Investigation Leads to Child Pornography Arrest

January 17, 2019

A Levy and Marion County Sheriff’s Office joint investigation conducted on January 16, 2019 resulted in the arrest of Davin Slone (4-17-93) of Inglis. A tip was received by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Division which launched the investigation. The tip revealed a previously unidentified individual was using internet sites to search and share images of children engaged in various sexual activities. The investigation determined the “user” did reside in the Town of Inglis in Levy County.

Investigators from both agencies worked together to secure a search warrant for the home located at 77 Park Street in Inglis. Davin Slone was located at this home and identified as the user of the internet service. Investigators seized electronic devices owned by Slone and discovered he downloaded and shared a minimum of three images depicting children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual activities.

Slone was arrested and charged with three counts of possession of obscene pornographic material (child pornography). He is being held in the Levy County Detention Facility in lieu of a $450,000.00 bond.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Armed Man Arrested

January 3, 2019

On January 2, 2019 at 4:45 AM Levy County Deputies responded to 11151 NE 83 Place in Bronson after receiving a 911 call. The 911 caller told dispatchers a man was beating on the front door and demanding to see his girlfriend. The 911 caller gave the dispatcher a description of this person and said he could see this man was holding a gun. The man entered the vehicle described by the 911 caller and attempted to leave just prior to deputies’ arrival. He was stopped by deputies as he left the property.

Deputies took this person, identified as Jason Kit-Patrick Patterson (2-2-81) of Gainesville, into custody and began their investigation. Deputies learned Patterson went to this home to find his girlfriend whom he suspected was cheating on him with another man. The investigation determined the girlfriend was at the home but the 911 caller did not know who Patterson was. The gun described by the 911 caller was found on the ground near where the caller told dispatchers he was standing just prior to their arrival. The suspect was also searched. Deputies found 18 Xanax, 9 grams of methamphetamines, 8 grams of powder cocaine and two pieces of crack cocaine in his pockets. Deputies then discovered Patterson is an 18 time convicted felon in Florida and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  

Patterson was arrested and booked into the Levy County Detention Facility. He has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance (Xanax) without a prescription and possession of methamphetamines. He is being held in lieu of a $226,000.00 bond.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Cedar Key Man Arrested for First Degree Murder

January 2, 2019

At 11:55 PM on December 30, 2018 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received an emergency call. A Cedar Key man reported to a third party he witnessed a murder and frantically asked for law enforcement to be called.

Cedar Key Police Department was the first on scene where they spoke to the witness. This initial witness interview led police officers to 3011 D Street where they discovered the victim’s body lying face down in the edge of the water behind this home. Cedar Key Police additionally located and detained another potential witness and an individual suspected of causing the death. Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin responded to the scene and contacted the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for assistance.

The Levy County Sheriff’s Office CID personnel and the LCSO Crime Scene Unit responded to the scene. Shortly after arrival, Chief Sandlin asked the LCSO on scene CID supervisor to assume responsibility for this investigation. The following investigation led to the arrest of one person, Matthew Whyte (5-14-91) of Cedar Key for First Degree Murder.

Investigators learned earlier that evening of December 30, 2018 Matthew Whyte, an eye witness, Whyte’s roommate and the victim, identified as Thomas Rafferty (12-5-63), were all hanging out and drinking together. The four men, who were all acquainted with each other, live next door to each other. The eye witness reported he and Whyte’s roommate got into an argument that was eventually broken up by Whyte. 

Whyte left the home for several hours and when he returned Rafferty was still instigating the argument and wanted the eye witness to fight Whyte’s roommate. Whyte, as the investigation determined was also under the influence of methamphetamines, became irate with Rafferty and punched him. The eye witness stepped in between the two and separated them. When the eye witness stepped away, Whyte kicked Rafferty knocking him backwards out of a doorway which led onto the back deck area of the home. A second kick by Whyte toppled Rafferty over the railing causing him to fall approximate six feet onto the shell encrusted marsh area. 

The eye witness reports Whyte then jump down into the marsh area, picked up a board and struck Rafferty twice. Whyte then drug the victim to the edge of the water line, dropped him face down and held Rafferty’s face in the water until he drown.

Evidence identified at the scene confirmed the eye witness account of the murder. Additional evidence was discovered after a search warrant was served at Whyte’s home.  

Matthew Whyte was booked in at the Levy County Detention Facility for First Degree Murder and is being held on NO BOND. Investigators are still conducting interviews and anyone who has information is asked to contact Investigator CJ Perryman at 352-486-5111 extension 276.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


The following information is a joint release from the Levy County Sheriff's Office and the Levy County Department of Emergency Management:

Several watches and warnings are currently in effect for Levy County with many areas expected to experience some type of flooding.

River Flooding: Areas along the Suwannee River from Fanning Springs to Fowlers Bluff can expect a continued river rise that has the potential of flooding some homes and causing some roads to become impassable.  Residents and visitors along the Suwannee River should monitor river levels closely and take necessary protective actions to protect their property.  Real time river levels can be viewed by visiting

Coastal Flooding:  Our biggest area of concern for the next couple of days is the elevated chance of coastal flooding in Cedar Key and Yankeetown.  The National Weather Service has issued a 1 in 10 chance of experiencing a 5.3ft MSL influx of water at high tide with a 1 in 2 chance of experiencing 4.8ft MSL overnight Thursday into Friday morning in Cedar Key and up to 6.5ft MSL in Yankeetown.  It is absolutely vital that residents and visitors monitor coastal flooding closely and be prepared to take action should the flood levels threaten your property.  Tide levels can be viewed by visiting

Inland Flooding:  Inland areas of Levy County should expect up to 4 inches of additional rain.  Continued rainfall for the next 24 hours will cause additional flooding issues in areas that are prone to flooding or are already saturated.  Areas that are already saturated or are prone to flooding should make sure that their property is protected now.  You can monitor your local weather stations by visiting  

Boat Ramp Closures:  All boat ramps along the Suwannee River are currently closed until river levels return to a safe level.

SR 24 at the Number 4 Bridge will be closed to traffic at 10 PM tonight and will remain closed until flood waters recede.

Public Information:  Public Information Lines are open by calling 352-486-5155

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Clay Landing Boat Ramp Closed – More Anticipated

December 19, 2018

Sheriff McCallum has closed the Clay Landing boat ramp at the request of the Levy County Emergency Management Director John McDonald. As anticipated, flood waters due to recent rains has caused the Suwannee River to rise out of its’ banks. The public boat ramp at Clay Landing is underwater and it is unsafe to launch a vessel at this location. The Emergency Management team will be monitoring other public access boat ramps along the Suwannee River and will close these ramps when the rising waters makes these locations unsafe.

Citizens who reside or own homes along the Suwannee River are asked to make early preparations to safeguard personal belongings ahead of the rising waters. Travel along this waterway will become more hazardous due to floating debris and could cause unnecessary damage to homes from wave actions created by passing boats. Please use caution and be courteous to homeowners by traveling at idle speed to keep your wake to a minimum.