Joshua LeMaster’s nearly eight years of criminal charges, convictions and avoidance of prison ended today when he was sentenced to seven years in state prison for a series of probation violations, drug sales and weapon possession.
Joshua LeMaster, a Palm Coast resident who’d recently been using a motel room as his address, is only 26 years old. But he’s been facing criminal charges since he was 18, when he was accused to stiffing a cab driver in Flagler Beach in 2013, and soon after that with interfering with the custody of a minor, his first felony charge. Time after time the charges would be dropped or reduced, or adjudication would be withheld–as when he was arrested for firing his shotgun almost two dozen times over a lake where people were fishing. He was 19 then.
The arrests, the charges, the lenient dispositions kept repeating–theft (adjudication withheld), theft again (charge dropped), contributing to the delinquency of a child (dropped), trespassing (a month in jail), forgery, grand theft, counterfeiting, all felonies (all dropped). Then came the March 2016 arrest for statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl, when he was 20. He pleaded guilty to that one in 2018, was declared a sex offender for life, and was sentenced to a rather lenient 364 days at the county jail–one day short of state prison time.
He was also sentenced to five years’ sex-offender probation, which he proceeded to repeatedly violate–possessing or using drugs, consorting with criminals, possessing a firearm, though he’s a felon.
His latest violations were confirmed subsequent to a shooting incident when he was himself shot and wounded at a garage on Hargrove Lane in Palm Coast. Two months after that shooting, LeMaster and his father, Jackie LeMaster, were arrested for using an Econolodge room as a drug den. But his probation-violation report would stretch to many pages, including records of his prior arrests.
Today, LeMaster pleaded before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins. His sex-offender probation was revoked. He was sentenced to seven years in prison on the weapon possession charge and five years (to be served concurrently) on drug charges, including selling pot. But he also gets a year and 24 days’ credit for time already served in jail, and he may be released early after serving 85 percent of his sentence, assuming good behavior. In effect, his 84-month sentence could be shortened to 71 with “gain time,” and to 58, or just under five years, with time already served. He will remain a designated sex offender once released from prison.
“I’m glad to see that he is at least taking some responsibility for his actions,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “He has paid a significant price for his bad decisions that will affect him for the rest of his life. I’m glad to see he will be out of this community locked up, at least for a while. I hope he turns his life around so that when he is released he does not repeat his poor choices.”