Palm Coast Couple Arrested for Sex in Joanne King Park After 12 Year Old Spots Them
FlaglerLive | January 11, 2016
William J. Murphy, 37, and Connie Whitaker-Roberts, 33, should have probably known better than to test the limits of the law in a public park in Bunnell: both know the criminal justice system from the inside, having had their share of previous arrests, some of them serious in Murphy’s case, including felony convictions.
Late Sunday afternoon, they were both arrested after a 12-year-old boy biking home through Joanne B. King park in Bunnell allegedly saw them having sex on a park bench.
The boy told police he saw a woman bent over on the bench with her pants off, according to the two individuals’ arrest report, and a man behind her with his pants off as well, as the two were “going back and forth.” The boy immediately went home and told his father, who called 911 then went to the park to see if the individuals his son had spotted were still there. They were: the boy’s father told police the two were on the park bench, and the woman was putting her pants back on.
Murphy and Whitacker-Roberts denied to police that they’d been having sex there, saying they had merely been kissing on the bench. Whitacker-Roberts said they had also been “dry-humping,” according to the arrest reports, and claimed that “no one saw us.”Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies, who were assisting the Bunnell Police Department in the arrests, conducted a “show-up” with the boy (that is, they had him at the park, personally identifying the suspects he’d seen) to confirm the sighting.
Almost a year ago Whitacker-Roberts and Murphy were both arrested at Whitaker-Roberts’s home (where Murphy also lives) after an argument with each other–Murphy for violating the terms of his probation, which required him to stay off alcohol at the time (the arresting officer determined that he’d been drinking) and Whitacker-Roberts for slapping her mother in front of law enforcement. She was charged with domestic battery. Whitacker-Roberts pleaded no contest to the first-degree misdemeanor and was sentenced to four months at the county jail.Murphy has faced several charges and some convictions over the years. In April 2014 he was arrested on a battery domestic violence charge after allegedly pushing Whitaker-Roberts to the ground and punching her in the face, an incident witnessed by others, according to his arrest report at the time. The charge was dropped. Later that year he was again arrested on a domestic battery charge, but a more serious one (by strangulation, a felony), in addition to a false imprisonment charge (also a felony), and resisting arrest. The charges were the result of another confrontation with Whitaker-Roberts, that one starting, according to Whitaker-Roberts, in the car as they were driving home. Murphy had been drinking, she told police, and she was suggesting that she should drive, which allegedly made him violent toward her. The arrest report notes “numerous calls” to law enforcement involving the two suspects. The two domestic violence and false imprisonment charges were dropped, but Murphy was found guilty of obstruction, driving on a suspended license (a felony, as it was a habitual violation), and DUI. He subsequently violated his probation this year.
In 2002 he also faced a drug charge (adjudication was withheld), and was found guilty of forgery the same year (a felony). In 2000, he was found guilty of obstruction.
Murphy, whose residence is listed as 19 Langdon Drive in Palm Coast, according to his Flagler County jail booking, was being held on $5,000 bond. Whitaker-Roberts lists a Palm Coast address but had previously lived with her mother at 703 N. State Street in Bunnell. She was being held on $5,000 bond. Both face a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition, a second-degree felony. As of Monday afternoon, both were still in jail.