Last Updated: Thursday, 7 a.m.
Anna Pehota, 75, shot her 77-year-old husband John this afternoon at 132 Sanchez Avenue in the Hammock, then called 911. The man was killed. Pehota was charged with second-degree murder and booked at the Flagler County jail late Wednesday evening after detectives determined she shot her husband without provocation after an argument.
The shooting took place in a trailer along a thickly wooded dirt road south of 16th Road, not far from the Publix shopping center on State Road A1A, in a section of the Hammock where trailers and mansions share the same tree canopies.
The Pehotas have owned the 1,400-square-foot pink-trimmed trailer since 1993. Anna Pehota called 911 just after 4:30 p.m. to say that she thought she’d killed her husband, and that she’d shot him three times.
Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were on scene within minutes and ordered the woman out of the house. She complied, and was taken into custody. An emergency airlift helicopter was initially called for, but paramedics pronounced the man dead just before 5 p.m.
Two neighbors spoke of seeing the Pehotas frequently walk their dog in the neighborhood, a small Yorkie. Even on the hottest days, John Pehota, an older man, would be wearing long sleeves, one neighbor said.
Anna Pehota was at one time a well-known artist in Florida. Some of her works (called “different Worlds”) were exhibited in the Judicial Meeting Room of the Florida Supreme Court Building in Tallahassee in the early 2000s. She had also contributed art works for charitable events.
Ten years ago, in a letter to the editor at the News-Journal, John Pehota described himself as “a disabled 68-year-old man living in Flagler County for 16 years, with a debilitating heart condition.” He was writing to note that the county commission was ignoring the needs of “handicapped residents of this county. I am physically unable to walk, let alone carry the implements needed to catch a fresh meal from the free ocean that borders our great country,” he wrote.
“Since the ban on beach-going vehicles has taken place, I haven’t been able to acquire a fresh fish, nor have I been able to partake of the God-given privilege of using the beach that I so enjoyed since I bought my home in The Hammock.” He implored commissioners to reopen the beaches to wheeled vehicles. “With all due respect, if the wheels on the turtle vehicles (which have been banned) won’t harm the turtles, then neither will mine nor any of the others that respect the county’s wishes,” he wrote.
The shooting took place one street over from where, in June 2013, Charles Massey and Justin Boyles brutalized and eventually–in the Hammock or at Flagler Estates–murdered Edward Mullener in what had started as a dispute over a woman. The men incinerated Mullener’s body in a car that was found in Flagler Estates. (Massey pleaded to second-degree murder and has yet to be sentenced. The sentencing is pending Boyles’s trial, which begins in St. Johns County in early November.)
The scene on Sanchez Avenue is currently sealed off and swarming with law enforcement officers. A news helicopter began hovering over the scene at 6:30 p.m., and left 20 minutes later.
A sheriff’s spokesman arrived at the scene at 6:15 p.m. At 6:45, he said–without naming the shooter–that she was detained and being interviewed by detectives at another location.
“We’re obtaining a warrant to go into the home to process the scene,” Jim Troiano, the sheriff’s chief spokesman, said.
It wasn’t yet clear whether the gun had been recovered, or what type of gun it was. Pehota, meanwhile, has “provided some information,” the spokesman said, regarding the motive behind the shooting, but Troiano was not at liberty to release that information.
The sheriff had been to the house four times since 2013, Troiano said: twice as assistance calls (involving no criminal activity), once for a medical issue, and once for a 911 issue.
The scene was not expected to be cleared for several hours more tonight: the warrant had not yet been delivered by nightfall, nor had the medical examiner arrived. The body may not be removed
A neighbor took in the dog.