At the heart of the police shooting reported by Historic City News Thursday morning, was a St Johns County deputy’s discovery of a stolen 2012 KIA Sorento in the west parking lot of the Quality Inn located at SR-16 and Interstate 95.
On Wednesday evening, the rightful owner of the vehicle told officers that she believed her granddaughter, 26-year-old Leanna Marie Obrien, may have taken the vehicle without permission.
US Marshals, participating in the search, made an inquiry into the whereabouts of Obrien at another SR-16 motel — the Days Inn.
Sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt Charles E. Mulligan, told reporters that a clerk on duty, 53-year-old Wayne Scott Mort, whose address was reported as 2560 SR-16, Room 135, in St Augustine, used the information to “tip off” Obrien that the marshals were looking for her.
When agents located Obrien Thursday evening, she was walking away from a vacant building adjacent to the motel. She was apprehended and charged with two counts of grand theft auto without further incident. Mort, the Days Inn clerk, was charged with obstruction for allegedly tipping Obrien off that she was being sought.
Obrien remains in custody at the St Johns County Detention facility in lieu of bonds totaling $10,000. The motel clerk was released early Friday morning after posting a $500 bond.
We now know that when Deputies Joey Romer and Deputy Gerald Thompson approached the KIA Sorento to investigate, 31-year-old Kimberly Lashane Davis, and 17-year-old Brandon Cheques Rich, appeared outside of the vehicle and were ordered to get down on the ground so the officers could safely inspect the vehicle.
Davis complied with the deputy’s instructions. When she was identified by the officers, it was determined that she was in violation of probation; she was taken into custody without incident. Rich disobeyed instructions, and abruptly reached into the vehicle, toward the center console. Romer fired a shot towards Rich — striking him in the leg.
Following the arrest of Obrien yesterday, the charge against Rich will be amended to dealing in stolen property. Additional charges are pending on Rich as Robbery-Homicide Detectives continue the investigation. Obrien is also charged with grand theft auto for an incident that occurred in December of last year.