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.
The hammock is NOT part of the city of Palm Coast. just saying
I live in hammock. I don’t like it either but my address say palm coast,,,,,,
Arthur Melcaccio says
How long will it take some idiot on here to blame Manfre? Should be coming any minute now.
Come on Manfre do something…you got 13 more babies with badges out there now !!!
Thanks for changing the headline from palmcoast hammock to just hammock.
Can’t anyone focus on the story? Maybe give prayers to the family. No, you just care about what the location is called and whether Manfre will be to blame. Who cares? Someone died. Have a heart people.
Barry Hartmann says
Well said, thank you!
What’s Manfre got to do with this? Sounds to me like a domestic problem or maybe assisted suicide, this stuff happens all over.
Steve Robinson says
There is obviously a lot that we do not know about what happened in this home yesterday, but what we do know for certain is that there was a gun in the home. If the information we know now holds true, there was an argument–maybe even a fight–and the lady shot her husband three times and killed him. Without a gun in the house, this is just an argument; with a gun in the house, one life is ended and another is ruined. There are two main arguments that the gun lobby presents to bolster its contention that there should be a gun in every home: That we all need to have the means to defend ourselves against criminals, and the police can’t always arrive in time to help. These people lived for 23 years in an area where there is virtually no stranger-on-stranger crime and, as the article points out, “deputies were on scene within minutes” after Mrs. Pehota called 911.
I am ready for the gun-lovers to lambaste me here for pointing out these facts less than 24 hours after a very sad event, but I stood there yesterday, a few yards from the house, and chatted with a stunned neighbor who remembered the Pehotas as a quiet, dignified couple, and whose first recollection was of the gent slowly walking his little dog every day.
Just another day in America.
I suppose if she had stabbed him with a kitchen knife Steve, you’d be advocating that we all eat with spoons. Please understand that if someone wants to kill another they will accomplish it no matter what kind of regulations you try to apply on them. Sad but true, I’ve seen it too many times in my career.
Steve Robinson says
Dennis, you identified, probably inadvertently, the dilemma with the observation that “if someone wants to kill another …” If given half a moment to cool off, to reflect, to take a deep breath during a heated argument, how many wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents and children would actually mean it when they say “I want to kill you!” Sure, Mrs. Pehota could have hit her husband with an iron skillet or stabbed him with the kitchen scissors. Would she have killed him? Maybe. Did she really want to kill him? In these situations a gun close at hand quite neatly cancels any opportunity to change your mind.
Gabriel Salvatori says
THANK YOU some one that makes sense, all of this comes because of the fact that people still think and reiterate still THINK that the right to bare firearms (written in the constitution 1787) which o by the way just turned 228 years September 17 anyways that amendment was placed there for that time when people needed to defend their lands, NOT an argument between husband and wife.
Sherry E says
My thoughts exactly, Steve. . . unfortunately, sadly, terribly. . . just another day in the USA.
Brian Riehle says
For those of you in the Hammock who don’t want to be associated with Palm Coast…..contact the US Postal Service and tell them to take you out of the Palm Coast 32137 zip code, because they are the culprips.
Sherry E says
Thank you Gabriel! A document that was written during the time of “muzzle loaders” in the context of a “regulated” militia. Somehow now the 2nd Amendment has been translated to the right for guns to be UNREGULATED to the point that AK47s type weapons of mass destruction are are available to civilians, and hand guns can be bought and traded like baseball cards or candy..
Most intelligent, thinking people would agree that if such lethal weapons were not so readily available, many more domestic disagreements would end without one partner being killed and the other being sent to prison. The ripple effect of families absolutely crushed. . . children and grandchildren left in painful mourning forever. . . lives turned upside down. . . even people left without a roof over their heads.
Yes, the media drum beat of fearing one another and ginning up paranoia against “them”. . . you know, those with different accents, religions, skin color. . . all just so the gun manufacturers can continue maximize their profits. Yes. . . tragically, just another day in the USA.
Florida Native says
Gun violence does not exist. Guns do 3 things. They function, they fail, and they rust. Violence is from the heart.
Indeed they function. With irreversible, deadly efficiency.,