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Palm Coast Man Charged With Attempting to Electrocute His Wife 2 Days After Christmas

| December 29, 2017

The electrically-rigged front door at 110 White Hall Drive that led to Michael S. Wilson's arrest, in Sheriff's Office images. Click on the image for larger view.

The electrically-rigged front door at 110 White Hall Drive that led to Michael S. Wilson’s arrest, in Sheriff’s Office images. Click on the image for larger view.

It is among the most bizarre stories you will have read locally this year: Michael S. Wilson, a 32-year-old resident of 110 White Hall Drive in Palm Coast, is accused of rigging his front door with live electrical wiring in an attempt to electrocute his wife shortly after Christmas. He’s in jail in another state, awaiting extradition back to Flagler County.

But it’s not as straight-forward as that: Wilson, by his wife’s account, may be experiencing severe mental health issues to the point that he had to be Baker Acted in late November (that is, held at a psychiatric ward without his consent). The couple–they had married in November 2015—separated on Nov. 29, and his wife felt threatened enough by him that she acquired a firearm for her protection and installed remote-controlled cameras in her house so she could detect whether he was there or not. In Early December, she filed for divorce, according to Flagler County court documents.

The couple have an 18-month-old child in common, and Wilson’s wife is pregnant with their second child. She told police that a few months ago Wilson had a seizure and fell but declined medical attention. Until then his behavior seemed normal. Since then his behavior changed. He became paranoid and temperamental. He was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, according to his arrest report.

He was Baker Acted in November, and the couple separated since then. Her step-father provided her with a firearm, which she kept on top of the cabinets above the kitchen stove. She installed two smart cameras in the house that she could control through her phone.

A few days before December Wilson called his wife, apologized for his absence, and told her he wanted to be with her again. She invited him to visit in Knoxville, Tenn., where she and her children were visiting her father. She booked a room for him at a local hotel. He got there on Dec. 21. But the next night he got up from watching TV with everyone and simply left the house, without explanation. At 9 a.m. the next morning she received a text from him. He was accusing her of cheating on him. Then he blocked her phone number. She was able to connect with him the following day, calm him down, and urge him to return to her father’s house. He returned to Knoxville at 4:30 p.m. He claimed to have been visiting his own family in Ohio in the interim.

That does not appear to have been the case. She told police that during Wilson’s absence, she got an alert on her phone that the cameras at her house had been disconnected. (There’d been no power cuts of note in Palm Coast in the past two weeks.) When Wilson returned to Knoxville, he made several strange comments. He asked her about her gun. He somehow knew precisely where she’d hidden it. He asked her about the cameras in the house and accused her of getting them to figure out when he’d be in the house.

michael s wilson wife electrocution palm coast

Michael S. Wilson.

Then it got alarming. He told her, in words she quoted to police, that when she was to go home, “make sure you use the front door because the garage door is not going to open.” He also told her to “make sure that [their daughter] isn’t with you because I don’t want her getting hurt.” And before she left Knoxville to drive back to Palm Coast, Wilson insisted that their daughter should travel with him rather than with his wife as he followed her to Florida—and got so aggressive that she fled from a gas station to get away from him.

On Wednesday (Dec. 27) she had contacted her step-father, Jon Flositz, and relayed the elements of the strange conversations she’d had with Wilson, promoting Flositz to go to the W-Section house to check on things there.

What Flositz discovered was strange and startling: there was the writing on the back sliding door, with a “Hi!” written in lipstick and two eyes painted above the word. There was the trouble with the front door, which wouldn’t open, though neither Flositz nor his wife held the door knob while using a key at the same time—something that may have kept them from suffering great harm, as they would later discover. The oddness was enough to call for Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies, who continued with the odd discoveries. The door handle had burn markings. There were the missing bulbs from certain lamps, the lamp with its cord cut, strange love notes on the bed along with a photo album opened to the pages that showed Wilson and his wife together. The gun was missing from the kitchen.

And there was this: the front door had been rigged into what deputies described as a booby trap designed to electrocute whomever would unlock the front door in a certain way.

“The mechanism appears to have been rigged so that when the house key was inserted into the top portion, dead bolt locking mechanism, by one hand and then grabbing a hold of the lower portion door handle with the other hand,” the arrest report states, “an electrical closed circuit would be established. This would allow electrical current to be able to then flow freely from one hand up the arm through the chest passing the heart and back through the other arm. The items used for rigging this electrical booby trap consisted of two chairs, one high chair, blue tape, shower type rod, electrical cords and wiring, and a battery charger with clamps.”

The afternoon of Dec. 27 a detective met with Steven Bray, a veteran production lead supervisor of some 18 Florida Power and Light journeymen linemen, and showed him several photographs of the scene, without being filled in on details behind the scenes.

Bray, the report states, “estimated that a person touching the door lock and the door handle of the door in question, would be exposed to approximately 120 volts and approximately one (1) amp. Steven Bray estimated that a person who touched both the door lock/keys, and the door handle simultaneously would have an approximately 80-100% chance of suffering death or great bodily harm. Mr. Bray stated that he believes that there is a great likelihood that a person touching the door lock and the door handle simultaneously would ‘complete the circuit’ and would cause them to squeeze the door knob for an extended period of time, resulting in greater chances of great bodily harm or death. Mr. Bray estimated that approximately 100 out of 100 electricity industry professionals could look at the same photographs provided to him, and estimate the same results.”

Later that evening, the detective found Wilson’s Facebook page, which lists him as a truck driver for Amvets. Wilson’s status read: “Widowed.”

On Thursday, Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith signed a warrant for Wilson’s arrest, charging him with three third-degree felonies: attempted aggravated battery on a pregnant person, grand theft, and attempted aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Additional charges are pending. He was arrested in Knoxville and held there on $150,000 bond pending his extradition to Flagler.

“This is one of the most bizarre domestic violence cases I have seen in my career,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued this morning. “Not only did this man plan to electrocute his wife, but he could have injured a deputy or any person attempting to enter this residence. Thankfully this man was found and taken into custody before he could cause the harm he intended.”

The case has the makings of two other disturbing cases in recent years in Flagler that are yet unresolved: that of Joseph Bova, the man accused of murdering store clerk Zuheily Roman Rosado, a 32-year-old mother of five, at the Mobil gas station convenience store in February 2013, and that of Jonathan Canales, the now-30-year-old Army veteran initially accused of attempted murder for shooting his common-law wife in the neck in their Daytona North (or Mondex) home in 2014. Both the Bova and Canales cases have since meandered through court and psychiatric hospital proceedings, with both men at various times declared incompetent to stand trial, and Bova still under that same declaration, which his defense attorney says may hold for the foreseeable future. Canales was in court earlier this month, his incompetence-to-stand-trial order lifted. He is due in court on Feb. 14 on an aggravated battery with a firearm charge, by which time almost three and a half years would have elapsed since the time of the shooting.

Given his recent medical history, diagnosis, Baker Acting and his wife’s observations to deputies, the Wilson case is more likely than not to take the same path, in time and complications, through court and psychiatric corridors.


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23 Responses for “Palm Coast Man Charged With Attempting to Electrocute His Wife 2 Days After Christmas”

  1. Bc. says:

    Lock him up and throw the key away scum

  2. ASF says:

    “Enabling” is too weak a adjective to describe this guy’s wife’s behavior. She needs counseling as much as he needs urgent evaluation, medication and 24 hour therapeutic monitoring. If she refuses the help, Child Protective Services should be all over her. Prison was never meany to take the place of psychiatric treatment. Having children with this guy indicates that his wife has serious issues with judgement (in additon to other issues) herself.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Only in Palm Coast….such a great place to raise a family. Neighbors don’t talk to each other, and the crime only on occasion leaks out. It’s like putting lipstick on a pig……make it pretty with landscaping and deceive the new comers and those who watch from social media. The elected council members, mayor and county commissioners are all a joke and make Flagler County the laughing stock of this state.

  4. Komodo Dragon says:

    Anonymous, wipe that lipstick off your face.

  5. That_Salty_Mermaid says:

    Beyond disturbing. I am glad that his insane “trap” caused no one any harm.

  6. Violet says:

    Anonymous..NO..not only in Palm Coast. Read the national news.
    ASF – if you really read the whole article, it clearly states that this man had an accident and banged his head. His problems seem to have started after that. His wife DID separate and in fact, file for divorce. Don’t blame the seems to me she has been carefully dealing with the situation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think FCSO needs to hire more officers…..there should be at least one for every residing citizen…..there are what about 30 in Palm Coast–where most of the county crime is at (not in MONDEX) and every day we read about more and more crime in PALM COAST. Not good when we see officers driving just burning up gas rather than engaging in what is going on, or sitting parked with another officer chatting when they should be fighting crime. The drugies and crazies are infiltrating this City at a rapid pace. Time to move back NORTH.

  8. Nãoimporta says:

    @Anonymous: I TOTALLY AGREE!

  9. God Bless says:

    What is going on in such a fantastic community? My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone!

  10. mark101 says:

    @ Anonymous says: If you dislike Palm Coast so much and to you its such a bad place, I can’t believe you’re still here. Maybe Orlando, Daytona, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami is more to your liking.

  11. just saying says:

    Almost every story about a crime in Palm Coast is followed by the comments of, dare I say, a dope, who feels compelled to smear our town. Please dear dopes, give it a break. Ours is a beautiful, growing town of 85,000. I believe our crime rates are lower than those for the State of Florida as a whole.

  12. C'mon man says:

    Anyone who wires a door with electricity to kill someone, then leaves a message not to let the kids touch it is a genius, not a mental patient.

  13. Electrical engineer says says:

    Unless the battery is attached to an additional electrical device that will enhance the battery’s electrical current there is no way that this device could kill someone.The math can get a little complicated, but the main reason that you can safely touch the positive and negative terminals of a typical car battery, and walk away unscathed, has to do with the voltage of the battery. While car batteries technically have the amperage to kill you, the voltage is a different story.

    Traditional car batteries are capable of delivering a lot of amperage in short bursts, which is the main reason that ancient lead acid technology is still in use.

    Starter motors require a lot of amperage to run, and lead acid batteries are good at providing short, intense bursts of amperage.

    However, there’s a world of difference between the coils of a starter motor and the high contact resistance of the human body.

    Simply put, voltage can be thought of as “pressure,” so while a car battery may technically have enough amperage to kill you, the paltry 12 volts DC (not 120 volts stated in the police report) simply doesn’t provide enough pressure to push any significant amount of amperage through the contact resistance of your skin.

    That’s why you can touch both terminals of a car battery without receiving a shock, although you may feel a tingle if your hands are wet. Certainly nothing like the confession-inducing, potentially-deadly, electrical torture you may have seen in the movies or on television, though.

  14. Dantel says:

    Hate to say it but, Shocking. 😜

    Only in Palm Coast. At least it made national news for our little city. This town has lost its mind with all the whack bags now living here

  15. Dave says:

    The dad suggested his daughter put a gun into the house with a crazy person, that is isane

  16. MannyHMo says:

    Let him get a taste of that voltage, not enough to kill but enough to provide a lesson. A Taser perhaps ?

  17. Flagler County Citizen says:

    Wow, the wife was NOT enabling. This situation sounds kind of complicated. The guy was fine until he had a seizure. They probably have a house together, finances together, and he was okay until the seizure just a few months ago! I’m sure it wasn’t like a light switch either. You love someone who seems normal, then they start acting weird. In that short time frame, she’s already armed herself, taken video, alerted trusted family members, and filed for divorce. She seems braver and more in control than most could be in this situation.

    They have kids together!! A decision that happened BEFORE the seizure! So imagine how difficult of a situation this must be for the woman. I think even with weird behavior, especially when someone WAS normal, we aren’t hard-wired to assume someone would try to murder us. So there’s that, too.

  18. ASF says:

    Violet says–If YOU read the article even in the slightest, you will see that the wife is, once again, pregnant by someone who she already realized was dangerously unfit to live with herself, let alone father children. Enabling people doesn’t help them.

  19. ASF says:

    …By the way, seizures are common in alcoholics and they often fall. Just saying.

  20. gmath55 says:

    I use to get seizures due to the medication I was taking. I have NEVER thought about killing somebody. I don’t think seizures have any thing to do with it. Once I got off the medications the seizures stop.

  21. Rick Kang says:

    Palm Coast has Crime like any other US city. Is a Palm Coast Police Deptment needed? Or more Officers in the FCSO? A cost effective study should be completed!

  22. Suzanne says:

    Heck don’t move up north. The crazies are all over up here in Maryland. In fact all of us northerners are moving south because the crime is so bad up here you are afraid to leave your home.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just saying–You need to get your head out of the sand. This isn’t such a nice little place to live if you keep up with what is going on around you. Look at the crime, shootings, drugs, robberies, home invasions, rapes, and other crimes going on in this little town of 85,000 people that is only a few miles in size. This town is continually deteriorating and going down the tubes. Even the Mayor claims she was raped for God sake. The political leaders are inept and our taxes keep going up. We vote against measures and our city manager and those like the former Jon Netts makes them happen anyway. We are constantly treated like mushrooms—fed shit and kept in the dark. We don’t know half of what is going on in this town. There are so many vacant homes, and rentals with riff raff that it is making us home owners property hard to sell and less valuable. Why do you think people buy homes and rent them out and not live here themselves? There is a good reason why there are even problems and resource officers in our schools. This is not a retirement community. This is a city with 2 I-95 interchanges that allows bad guys to escape easily. Look at the arrests alone made in this county, ya, the little town that is so quaint that you want everyone to think it is paradise. Every time our Sherriff has to hire more staff and implement different programs and things our tax dollars go up….I don’t know how long you have been here, but my taxes are out of site compared to what they were when I first came here. We see pretty flowers and landscaping and are fooled. The homeless people that are by Winn Dixie behind the gas station across from Walmart is growing. So many people can’t even afford the water in this city. The drainage sucks…like we learned last hurricane. The septic system can’t support the city and we see hundreds of trucks hauling sewage out of here—but we can build a multi million dollar city hall and a community center without much thought and public input. Our city manager is bailing out for a reason…he took the money and ran. For a city manager to be paid what he has been paid and we have a paid mayor, it is sinful! Again, we pay for all of that. This place is worse than it was last year and was worse last year than the year before and so on. So get your head out of the sand and face reality. Unless there are some changes this place is going to continue to deteriorate. We need police to do more than drive around and issue driving citations!!! They need to be engaged and do something about crime and activity when they know about it, and not wait for something to happen before they get engaged. The city fights with the county, the county fights with the city, the people fight with the elected officials and the neighbors fight with one another. This is not a friendly place from the top on down. Ask yourself why so many people have left and why so many more want out of here.

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