3 Charged in Death of Polk County Deputy Blane Lane

Florida Jolt readers read about the tragic death of 21-year old Polk County Deputy Blane Lane who was killed in the line of duty serving an arrest warrant.

To recap, Polk County deputies received a tip on the whereabouts of Cheryl Lynn Williams who had an active warrant for failure to appear. Deputies arrived at Cheryl Williams mobile home where two witnesses told deputies that Williams was inside. What the deputies didn’t know was Williams had armed herself with a silver Beretta Style pistol that turned out to be a BB gun.

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When deputies entered to serve the warrant, she pointed the handgun at deputies who then fired 6 rounds at Williams striking her twice. Unfortunately, one of the rounds fired by deputies penetrated the exterior wall of the mobile home and struck Deputy Blane Lane who had taken a position outside the home. The bullet struck lane in the arm and traveled across into his chest cavity killing him.

Deputies also arrested the two “witnesses” living at the home, identified as Donald Mathis and Joseph Larry Albritton Jr., and charged them with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The two men knew that Williams had armed herself and did not tell the deputies. Had they cooperated, the outcome would have been different, and Deputy Lane would still be alive.

A search of the crime scene after the shooting produced three different “real” firearms including a .22 caliber rifle, a .410 caliber shotgun, and a 12 gauge shotgun.

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Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has announced that Williams is being charged with a total of thirteen felonies including second-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, three counts of resisting arrest, two counts of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Judd had some choice words for Williams.

“When deputies arrived at this residence following up on a Crime Stoppers tip that Cheryl Williams was there with an active warrant, they gave her every opportunity to turn herself in,” Judd said. “She made the choice to hide, and then to jump out while pointing a gun at them.”

“Cheryl Williams would have been taken into custody peacefully and would solely be facing her original failure to appear charge, “and “Now she is responsible for the death of Deputy Lane, a young man who had his entire life ahead of him, eager to serve the people of Polk County while making a positive difference as a law enforcement officer.”

Deputy Lane’s Funeral with full Law Enforcement Honors is being planned at this time.


Additional stories you may want to read:

Florida Man Shoots Woman Over High Rent

Florida Mayor Arrested for Battery with a Rake

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