SENTENCED IN SEPTEMBER 2019

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Mug shot of HASAAN APPELL MUHAMMADJudge Kelvin Wells sentenced Hasaan Muhammad on September 3, 2019, to 15 years in prison with the Florida Department of Corrections for Aggravated Battery with Great Bodily Harm. Muhammad had previously entered a no-contest plea straight to the Court for this charge on June 20, 2019.

The charge arose from an incident that occurred on December 21, 2018, at a house on Juniper Avenue several miles west of DeFuniak Springs. The victim, Charles Dewey Rycroft, Jr., traveled to the home to confront some family members who lived there and a fight occurred between them on the home’s porch. Among the people engaged in this confrontation was the Defendant, Hasaan Muhammad. Mr. Rycroft was told to leave the property by his family and turned around to do so. While he was about to walk down the steps of the porch, Muhammad shoved him in the back. The victim fell off the porch and struck his head on the ground below. Despite the efforts of first responders and the staff at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury and later died due to his injuries.

The investigation and arrest was conducted by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Matthew Richardson prosecuted the case.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://waltonso.org/defuniak-springs-man-arrested-following-death-of-60-year-old/

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Mug shot of JUAN GERARDO CASTRO-TORRESJudge Kelvin Wells sentenced Juan Gerardo Castor-Torres to 15 years in the Department of Corrections for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation and Lewd or Lascivious Battery followed by 10 years Sex Offender Probation. The defendant was also ordered to pay fines, court costs, and restitution, have no contact with the victim and to register as a Sexual Offender.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Children’s Advocacy Center following a 14-year-old disclosure that the defendant, victim’s step-father had been molesting her. During the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office learned that a former classmate of the victim had called the Sex Abuse Hotline to report the victim’s abuse. Other family members provided additional corroboration of the victim’s account.

The defendant was convicted following a joint effort from the State Attorney’s Office, the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Josh Mitchell prosecuted the case.

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Mug shot of Antonio Domingo MendezJudge Kelvin Wells sentenced Antonio Domingo Mendez to 10 years in the Department of Corrections followed by five years of Sex Offender Probation for Lewd or Lascivious Battery. The defendant was also ordered to pay fines and court costs, have no contact with the victim and register as a Sexual Offender.

Antonio Mendez was a family friend of the victim and waited until the 13-year-old victim was home alone. While at the home, the defendant began kissing the victim and performing other acts upon her. The victim disclosed to family members who then took the child to the Children’s Advocacy Center. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the defendant who admitted to the acts taking place however, he denied knowing the victim’s age.

The defendant was convicted following a joint effort from the State Attorney’s Office and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Josh Mitchell prosecuted the case.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://waltonso.org/lewd-and-lascivious-suspect-gets-1m-bond-targeted-13-year-old-victim-and-bought-her-a-phone/

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Mug shot of Victor William Castro-MendezJudge Kelvin Wells sentenced Victor William Castro-Mendez to Life without parole followed by 15 years in the Department of Corrections for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation and Lewd or Lascivious Battery. The defendant was also ordered to pay fines, court costs, and restitution, have no contact with the victim and to register as a Sexual Offender. Castro-Mendez was previously convicted by a Walton County jury of all charges on July 7, 2019.

In July 2018, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the defendant following a disclosure by a 12-year-old female victim that the defendant had been abusing her for years. The child was interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center the following day and was able to tell investigators that starting in the fifth grade when the child was 10-years-old the defendant would abuse her at the bus stop when they were alone. Furthermore, the child was able to tell investigators the last time the suspect had abused her was 4 days prior to the interview while the child was 12.

The investigation and arrest was a joint effort between the State Attorney’s Office and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Josh Mitchell prosecuted the case, for further information he can be contacted at (850) 892-8080.

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