[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/17/20]
TAVARES, Florida — The adage, “No good deed goes unpunished,” rang true for an elderly Leesburg man turned theft victim, who gave a homeless woman a place to stay.
A Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a home in Leesburg on Wednesday on a report of fraudulent use of a credit card. The elderly victim told the deputy he allowed Bonnie June Turner, 38, to stay with him about two weeks earlier because, “she was homeless and he felt bad for her,” an arrest affidavit states.
The victim said he misplaced his debit card and contacted his bank for a new one, but never received it. He checked his account balance and discovered $981.16 missing with a total of eight fraudulent transactions in Mount Dora, Tavares and Leesburg. The victim said he believed Turner had taken his mail and activated his new debit card without his permission.
The deputy responded to Walgreens, 680 East Burleigh Boulevard, Tavares and viewed security footage that showed Turner withdraw $400 from an ATM and then purchase two drinks and receive an additional $20 cash back with the purchase of the drinks.
The deputy located Turner at Inn on the Green, 700 East Burleigh Boulevard, Tavares, and when he informed her of the reason he was there, she spontaneously uttered, “I didn’t steal all of his money, my baby daddy stole the card, used it, and then gave it to me,” the affidavit states.
Turner was read her rights and told the deputy her “baby daddy,” only identified as “Shawn” stole the card and she only made two transactions at Walmart and Walgreens — totaling nearly $600. The deputy asked if she had permission to use it, and she reportedly said, “No, and I know it was wrong to use it.”
Turner was taken into custody and the deputy, who has knowledge Turner is a frequent drug user, according to the affidavit “asked her at least five times if she had anything concealed on her person prior to arrival at the jail.”
Turner was searched at the Lake County Jail and found with marijuana, two cut straws and methamphetamine, “The weed is mine and I am selling the meth,” she allegedly said. She was also found with $160 — which she first said her “sugar daddy” gave to her — but later admitted was some of the victim’s money, according to the affidavit.
Turner is facing a total of 17 charges, including eight counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, three counts on introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, petit theft, grand theft, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, possession of methamphetamine, possession drug paraphernalia, and exploitation of the elderly. She is being held on $31,000 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]