[IMAGE CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office] [Original Publish Date: 02/07/20]
PAISLEY, Florida — A man who twice made headlines, once in 1993 for his part in one of Lake County’s most tragic crimes and in 2018 for allegedly beating a woman, is back in the Lake County Jail, this time on drug trafficking charges.
Manuel Yon, 43, first made headlines for his involvement in the rape and attempted murder of Dorothy Lewis, and the murders of her two daughters Jasmine, 3, and Jamilya, 7, in 1993. Lewis and her small daughters were carjacked and taken at gunpoint by Richard Henyard and Alfonza Smalls from the parking lot of the Winn Dixie in Eustis. (The grocery store is no longer in the same location.) Lewis and her children were driven to Hicks Ditch Road where the pair raped Lewis on the trunk of the car in front of the two girls. Henyard shot Lewis several times and the young girls were murdered shortly after. Lewis survived the attack by the pair and after several hours she regained consciousness and dragged herself to a nearby home for help.
Yon, who was 16 at the time, provided a change of clothes for the killers and was later sentenced to nearly one year in the Lake County Jail. Henyard, who was 18 at the time of the crime, was executed in 2008. Smalls, just 14 at the time of the rape and murders, was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences. Smalls is currently awaiting resentencing due to a 2016 Supreme Court ruling requiring a resentencing hearing for juvenile offenders serving a life sentence.
In 2018, Yon made headlines when he allegedly battered his girlfriend. In that case he was accused of punching the woman in the face repeatedly and body slamming her. The charges were later dropped.
In his most recent case Thursday, Yon is facing several drug charges and driving with a suspended license after a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy saw Yon seated in the driver’s seat of a vehicle near the intersection of Vera Avenue and Washington Drive in Paisley. The deputy, who was “very familiar” with Yon, as noted in the arrest affidavit, knew Yon had a suspended license and initiated a traffic stop. Yon quickly exited the vehicle and told the deputy his “girl” Jerylyn R. Sellers, 32, was the owner of the vehicle and had the keys and he was just sitting in the driver’s seat. Another deputy approached Sellers and spotted a pipe partially under the woman’s foot. Deputies searched the vehicle and found 27 grams of methamphetamine a small amount of marijuana and a scale.
Yon was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and driving while license suspended. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $41,000 bond. Sellers was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamine She was released from the Lake County Jail on $7,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]