Ocala, Florida criminal cases are solved with jail time

A jury found a man guilty in a trial last week at the Marion County Judiciary Center, and another man chose not to take a chance on a trial and instead resolved his case with a plea bargain.

Brian Carl Vanepps was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty by jurors on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Vanepps was convicted by Circuit Judge Peter Brigham of lewd and lascivious sexual assault and assault on a child under 12.

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The 38-year-old man was considered a sexual predator. His trial lasted a day, officials said.

In January 2018, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies learned that a man had molested a child.

The victim was questioned at the Kimberly Child Protection Center, where she told officials Vanepps touched her multiple times, according to her arrest report.

Vanepps was found by sheriff’s deputies and questioned about the girl’s statement. He denied touching her.

Released on bail, Vanepps was rearrested last month when he failed to appear for a hearing in his case, according to court documents. He has been incarcerated in Marion County Jail since his last arrest.

State records show the Ocala man was convicted of aggravated assault on a pregnant woman.

A plea bargain

Two days before Vanepps’ trial, Freddie Lee Honor Jr. was to be selected by a jury for robbery chief with a firearm and aggravated battery chief with a deadly weapon.

Instead, Honor, who was also facing multiple charges of burglary of a conveyance while armed and other offences, decided to skip the process. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on all of his charges, according to court records.

Currently in prison, Honor has 669 days credit for time already served in the facility.

Arrests

The 20-year-old Ocala man was first arrested by law enforcement officials in March 2020 in connection with the shooting and robbery of a teenage boy in Ocala.

A second person, Keiunte Cooper, 20, who was allegedly involved in the incident, was also apprehended, authorities said. He faces charges of robbery with a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm. His case is ongoing, according to court records.

Judicial authorities arrested a third person, whose charges were dropped due to witness issues, according to court records.

Photo of potential vehicle break-in

In August 2020, sheriff’s deputies and Ocala police officers arrested Honor and several teenagers in connection with a series of vehicle break-ins in the city and county.

Members of the group were accused of snatching valuables from several unlocked vehicles.

One member of the group, Edward Johnson, 19, of Ocala, pleaded guilty earlier this month and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

Another member, now 17, is awaiting resolution of his case, according to court records. His name is not published by the Star-Banner due to his age.

No information could be found in court records for the other two people, who at the time of the arrest were minors.

Contact Austin L. Miller at austin.miller@starbanner.com

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