Kelsey Joe Anderson, the 38-year-old Bunnell felon who had AdventHealth Palm Coast on lockdown 14 months ago after threatened his wife, who worked there, that he was driving over there to kill her co-workers, was fund guilty of a second-degree felony and will serve a year under house arrest and three years on probation, but no jail or prison time–unless he violates his probation–though his judicial scoresheet netted 70 points, normally resulting in a 32-month prison term.
The case was resolved through a plea agreement before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins on Tuesday. The sentence was a downward departure from sentencing guidelines “based on a legitimate arm’s length plea negotiation,” according to Anderson’s plea agreement. Anderson was also ordered to have no contact with his wife, refrain from alcohol and illegal drug use for the duration of his house arrest and probation, and have a substance abuse evaluation. He was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, presumably not to be served at the hospital.
According to the terms of probation, he must submit to random urinalysis and random, warrantless searches.
Had the case continued on its path to trial, Anderson was facing the possibility of up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He had already served two years and two months in state prison, between 2013 and 2015, after his conviction on 10 charges of burglary, trafficking in stolen property and grand theft (he’d stolen several ATVs from Turkey Island Hunting Club off Old Brick Road). After his release from prison at the time, he violated his probation, which was subsequently extended. More recently, he was twice charged with violating the terms of his pre-trial release, both times for failing to maintain his ankle monitor powered or paid for. Both charges were dropped.
Anderson’s erratic behavior the morning of Oct. 13, 2019, mobilized numerous units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, required the local hospital to go on lock-down, with deputies stationed at every door, as other deputies searched for Anderson and his wife, protected and hidden within the hospital staff, waited tensely along with other staffers. The couple, married five years, had had an argument over the cable bill that morning. The argument escalated by text and phone calls after Anderson’s wife got to work.
By midday, she was telling him to stop calling since she was at work, and he was making direct threats by text, prompting her to call authorities and let them know he was capable of carrying out his threats. He was arrested later that evening after a daylong manhunt when he turned himself in at Hidden Trails Community Center in the Mondex. He told deputies that he wanted to hang himself. He was booked at the county jail that night at 10:16 p.m. and released on bond a little over a month later, with an ankle GPS monitor.
The plea deal over written threats to kill was one of two such cases Perkins heard Tuesday. The second, also resolved with a plea, was that of Jasmine Jackson, a 29-year-old resident of the Palms apartment in Palm Coast, who was arrested on an identical second-degree felony just six weeks ago after sending threatening text messages to her fiancee, who was working at a local McDonald’s at the time. The fiancee told deputies she was afraid to go home after receiving such texts as “imma keep calling your job” and “I’m going to kill you,” specifying that she would stab her.
Jackson had been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Duval County in 2015 and aggravated battery in 2019. Both charges had been dropped. She pleaded no contest before Perkins, adjudication was withheld–which means she was not declared a felon–and she was sentenced to 24 months’ probation (down from 36 months according to what she told the judge she’d been offered previously). Jackson was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.
“I’m the head of household, but the alleged victim is on the lease as well,” Jackson had written the judge on Nov. 3, after the state had offered her the plea proposal, with the no-contact order, which is standard in such domestic violence cases. But the order also has often unknown ripple effects, which in this case Jackson illustrated for the court. “My whole life is in my home. I have nowhere else to go if I can’t go home. I will literally have to sell everything I own in my house in order to survive being homeless.” If that happened, her probation officer would have no way to make contact with her, she said. “The victim was my only family,” she continued, asking the court for a chance to go back to the apartment at least to gather her belongings (a measure usually granted, with law enforcement present). “I would be very displeased to find out upon my release that the alleged victim threw away or forfeited the apartment, and everything down to my legal documents, winter clothing, and my pets just get left in the apartment.”
Jackson then referred to her two jobs and the probation order, which includes anger management and a substance abuse evaluation. She asked to be jailed instead of having to do probation. It’s not an unusual request from individuals facing probation with the burdens of multiple jobs and other responsibilities: contrary to frequent misconceptions, probation is never a cakewalk, though when she asked if “there is any way that I can do time in, take the 3 classes and avoid probation altogether,” she may have been referring to time already served–one month. “I can’t juggle all these things at once and work multiple jobs,” she wrote the judge. “I feel like I’d be destined to fail, especially while being homeless in the cold.”
It appears her plea reduced her probation by a year, but not by three. Her letter to the judge explains upfront why individuals on probation so often find themselves before long in violation of their terms, and back in jail or, at times prison.