A 24-hour crime spree on March 26th this year has resulted in a long prison term for 19 year old Jeffery Turcotte of Fort Lauderdale. The teenager was sentenced by US District Judge Darrin Gayles to 25 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to carjacking and kidnapping several victims with a gun. His Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys claim he was mentally ill, a theory supported by his family.
Many people believe so what? That is another reason for Turcotte to be locked up. If Turcotte had any accomplices it was his family for not keeping him under control.
A Plea Agreement
A lady, who the court referred to only by her initials L.S., testified in court. She said Turcotte abducted her at gunpoint, held her hostage for hours and robbed her. The lady and a male neighbor were made to get into the trunk of her compact car, which she explained what felt like crawling into a grave. During a period of 24 hours, on March 26th, Turcotte kidnapped, carjacked, and robbed five people in Fort Lauderdale’s busy tourist areas.
As part of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, the 19 year old pleaded guilty to three kidnappings, two carjackings, and using a firearm. Both, the prosecution and his criminal defense attorneys, pushed for a 25 year prison term. Judge Gayles confirmed that all five victims were in agreement of the punishment before sentencing Turcotte to 25 years in federal prison.
Turcotte was also ordered to undergo mandatory mental health treatment with five years of supervised release. During the sentencing, the judge said it was an unfortunate situation especially in cases where mental illness can make people do things they are not supposed to when they are not under medication. Turcotte’s family and his Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys attributed his rampage to a bipolar disorder and years of efforts by the teen and his mother to overcome his mental health problems. Apparently that did not work out and society paid the price.
Turcotte Torments Victims
One of Turcotte’s victims, Rhea Chiles, was the daughter of the late Governor Lawton Chiles. The accused attempted to kidnap and rob her and her friend at gunpoint, near Fort Lauderdale beach. However, she managed to escape and Turcotte wasn’t charged with that attempt. During his crime spree, the teen targeted people around the 17th Street Causeway and along Fort Lauderdale beach.
Turcotte’s first victim was L.S. who he forced at gunpoint to take him to her apartment. On the way he took her male neighbor hostage as well. He burgled both his victim’s apartments and business office located at the complex, following which he forced them to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash. During the 2½ hour ordeal, he threatened to rape the woman and flashed his Glock .40 caliber pistol constantly at them.
After the rampage, he locked them up in the trunk of her vehicle and escaped. Later at night, he abducted another woman at gunpoint and forced her to drive to ATMs and withdraw cash. His tryst with crime ended after a car chase where he was arrested at 400 block of Southwest 26th Street.
Society Says No Mercy
Turcotte’s mother, Euda Henderson, told the judge that her son’s illegal drug abuse made worse his bipolar disorder, which reached dangerous proportions where he suffered from delusions and was manic when he stopped taking his prescription medicine weeks before his crime spree. She said life was a struggle right from when he was few months old although she tried hard to get him the best possible care. Henderson requested the judge to have Turcotte assigned to a medical prison.
There are many people who believe Turcotte should never be free again? How can someone like this be free? Who is going to monitor him every day of his life?
If you have been accused or charged with a crime, attorney Michael leader can provide your legal support. He is also a insurance claim attorney in Fort Lauderdale and helps his clients with a wide array of legal issues.