There’s a brand-new twist in Florida’s notorious “treehouse murder” case — in the kind of a possible bombshell civil fit.
Franklin Tyrone Tucker — the husband of CrossFit co-founder Lauren Jenai, and a suspect in the case who declares he’s innocent — is prepping a possible claim in Florida versus the Monroe County Sherriff’s workplace in addition to members of the county’s State Attorney’s workplace, a brand-new court filing exposes.
Tucker was apprehended in 2017 on first-degree felony murder charges in the “treehouse murder” event and was kept in prison for almost 2 years waiting for trial without bail.
Page Six solely exposed how throughout that time, Tucker’s previous high school friend — effective physical fitness business owner Jenai — found out about his case on Facebook and concerned safeguard his innocence. The 2 likewise fell in love while Tucker was put behind bars. They wed last summer season after he was drastically launched on a $2 million bail, installed by Jenai prior to the set was initially suggested to wed inside the Stock Island Detention Center.
According to brand-new civil court files submitted in Florida last month, and acquired by Page Six, Tucker now declares he has “several causes of action” to submit versus members of the regional constable and state lawyer’s workplaces, consisting of, “false arrest,” “malicious prosecution,” “various civil rights claims,” “defamation,” “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” and others.
His lawyer declares in the documents that there was “substantial, wrongful, dishonest and illegal conduct” by cops and district attorneys in Tucker’s case, and “ample reason to believe that a conspiracy of misdeeds, illegal actions and false representations have been entered into by several members” of the constable’s and state lawyer’s workplaces.
To start the fit, the documents declare, they’ll require to present the testament of a witness, Paula Belmonte, that they state will clear Tucker’s name. Belmonte was deposed on Sept. 28, 2020, on behalf of Tucker, and is the making it through victim in the fateful “treehouse murder” robbery-homicide for which he was arraigned with 2 other suspects.
The court files state that Belmonte is presently “seriously ill” and has actually been provided possibly “less than a year to live” by medical professionals due to persistent obstructive lung illness. But, Tucker’s attorney Cara Higgins declares, his criminal case might drag out for months or perhaps years.
Prosecutors have actually declared that Tucker and another suspect stabbed Stock Island, Fla., resident Mathew Bonnett to death when he concerned the help of Belmonte as she was being robbed at knifepoint. Belmonte resided in a makeshift treehouse by Bonnett’s house, where different transients reoccured.
Higgins argues in the court documents that Belmonte in her current deposition, “stated, numerous times that she was positive [Tucker] was not involved in the robbery-homicide,” which Belmonte “personally knew” Tucker. The court documents likewise state that Belmonte affirmed that Tucker” had a various body design, size and voice,” than the assailants. The documents likewise declare that state lawyers continue to “prosecute [Tucker] knowing the surviving victim emphatically states it wasn’t him.”
Higgins even more declares in the court documents that a crucial witness for the prosecution in the case was wrongly represented to a judge as “a concerned citizen,” however was in fact a “paid informer of the State” who “asked for substantial legal benefits for his testimony.” She likewise declares that previous Assistant State Attorney Colleen Dunne “conspired with” members of the constable’s workplace, consisting of Captain Penny Phelps, to “conduct clandestine meetings with witnesses… to pervert the discovery process.”
Tucker’s brand-new civil court filing declares that higher-ups in the Monroe County constable’s and state lawyer’s workplaces stopped working to safeguard him regardless of their staffers’ actions.
The files name 9 prospective accuseds in Tucker’s prepared claim — consisting of Dunne and Phelps, in addition to present Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay and State Attorney Dennis Ward.
Reps for the Monroe Country constable’s workplace decreased to discuss pending lawsuits when we connected, and associates for Tucker, Jenai, and the state lawyer’s workplace, did not comment pursuant to a “gag order” in the criminal case enforced by Chief Judge Mark H. Jones in Key West.
Meantime, Dunne has actually individually because stepped down from her position after confessing to principles offenses in another murder case, and Phelps was captured on video camera apparently advising a deputy to act like a “neo-Nazi” to put pressure on a black suspect in the case, who was later on apprehended and is a co-defendant with Tucker.