Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Larry R. Ashley

UPDATE: CANCELLATION of Missing/Endangered Children Alert

UPDATE: MISSING/ENDANGERED CHILDREN ALERT The missing/endangered children alert issued earlier today has been cancelled. The father became aware of the alert and has returned the children to their legal guardian in Santa Rosa County. Investigators say the children are safe and in good condition. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office has issued a missing/endangered child alert for three children believed to be with their biological father. Deputies have received reports a custodial family member gave the father, Courtney William Howell, permission to spend the holidays with 6-year old Arrianna, 10-year old Keondre, and 13-year old Deshawn Howell. Since that time the OCSO has received a report that Howell is on methamphetamine and hallucinating. He was last seen in the area of Bradford Place in Fort Walton Beach, travelling with the children on foot. Their current location is unknown. Anyone with information on the children’s whereabouts is asked to please contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at 850-651-7400 or contact Investigator Lynn Stevenson at 797-9012. View Full Press...

Bogus Bills Lead to Two Arrests

COUNTERFEIT MONEY DOESN’T PASS MUSTER FOR CASHIER AT LOCAL McDONALD’S A worker at a Shalimar McDonald’s spotted what appeared to be fake money last night when two teens tried to pay for their order at the drive-through window. He contacted the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office after noticing the twenty dollar bill handed over for the approximately six dollar order appeared to be counterfeit. When deputies arrived, the two teens in the Pontiac van took off. One was spotted throwing something out of the passenger side window. A check of that area revealed two balled up counterfeit $20 bills. The money used at the McDonald’s and the money thrown from the car had the exact same serial numbers. Deputies pulled over the van and have charged 19-year old Matthew Teems of Fort Walton Beach and 17-year old Jonathan Ruiz of Shalimar with fraud, uttering a false bill. View full press...

SAO Announces Watkins Murder Indictment

William Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced today that an Okaloosa County Grand Jury has indicted Michael David Watkins for First Degree Premeditated Murder in the death of his mother, Gloria Watkins. On the early morning hours of November 30, 2014, Officers responded to a criminal mischief call on Avon Lane in Okaloosa County, Florida. During the course of their investigation Officers discovered the body of Gloria Watkins in her home. The Defendant exited the home and after refusing to comply with commands, was tased by officers and taken into custody. The Defendant later admitted to shooting his mother with arrows four times. He stated he shot her in the head three times and in the shoulder once with four different arrows. The Defendant is currently incarcerated with no bond. His trial date has been set for March 25, 2015. Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason will be prosecuting the case. If you have any additional questions, please contact ASA Angela Mason at 850-651-7260. View Full Press...

SAO Press Release on Ganey

PRESS RELEASE William Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced today that Waylon Dwight Ganey was convicted Thursday on the charges of Grand Theft Auto, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer at High Speed and Driving without a Valid Driver’s License after a jury trial in Crestview. The charges arose from an incident which occurred on February 26, 2014 in Baker and Crestview, Florida. Ganey made contact with the Victim at the Dollar General Store in Baker asking for a ride to a store in Baker and then a church in the area. At that point, Ganey stole the vehicle from the Victim and drove towards Crestview. The Crestview Police Department stopped the vehicle but before making contact, Ganey left the scene. A vehicle pursuit ensued with the Crestview Police Department and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The pursuit traveled down Highway 85 and into the Fort Walton Beach area reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph. Ganey eventually crashed the vehicle and fled. Ganey was apprehended shortly after the crash. Circuit Judge Michael Flowers proceeded over the trial and upon conviction imposed a 20 year prison sentence. Ganey had previously been found to have violated his probation and was sentenced to an additional 5 years for a total sentence of 25 years Assistant State Attorney Laresa Dudley was responsible for the prosecution. The investigation and arrest was done by the Crestview Police Department and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Any questions can be directed to Assistant State Attorney Laresa Dudley at (850)689-5620. View Full Press...

Destin Man Served Warrants for Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of 14-year Old Release Only

A Destin man picked up in Anchorage Alaska has been extradited back to Okaloosa County on charges of battery and lewd and lascivious molestation of a juvenile. 39 year old Eli Long Malave was brought back to the Okaloosa County Jail December 6th and has been released on $25,000 bond. Investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office say Malave sexually molested a 14-year old girl at his Destin home on multiple occasions between August 2013 and July 2014. He’s also accused of committing battery by striking her in the chest with his hand. Deputies say Malave, who was aware of the investigation, left the area last September and traveled to Anchorage, where he was arrested September 29th on the OCSO outstanding warrants. View Full Press...