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Deputy arrested, charged with lying in Bybee case Previous
Wed Feb 15, 2017 06:04
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Deputy arrested, charged with lying in Bybee case

Frankie Bybee, former Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy, appears in court for a hearing on Tuesday. [HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2017 / RACHEL S. O'HARA]
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Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Deputy Carson Plank, 23, has been placed on administrative leave, the Sheriff's Office said Thursday. [PROVIDED BY SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE]

Frankie Bybee, former Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy, appears in court for a hearing on Tuesday. [HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2017 / RACHEL S. O'HARA]

Posted Feb 9, 2017 at 3:31 PM
Updated Feb 10, 2017 at 8:20 AM

Carson Lee Plank, 23, is charged with providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation.

By Carlos R. Munoz
Staff Writer

SARASOTA A Sarasota County Sheriff's deputy who has been employed for just over a year has been arrested after being accused of lying to detectives during the criminal investigation into former deputy Frankie Bybee.

Carson Lee Plank, 23, was released on her own recognizance following a first appearance Thursday. She is charged with a single count of providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation.

Plank's employment status is pending the outcome of the criminal and internal affairs investigations.

The deputy was identified as one of the first to respond to the home of a 79-year-old woman who said Bybee came into her house and attempted to kill her. Bybee was put on administrative leave Jan. 9 after the woman contacted the Sheriff's Office on Dec. 20 and said he was harassing her.

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Bybee befriended the elderly woman, who was in need of medical care when he first responded to a call for help at her home in October. He is charged with attempted murder, burglary of a dwelling, exploitation of an elderly woman, battery on a person over 65 years of age, three counts of petit theft, and forging a public certificate.

His bail was set at $1,033,120 at his first appearance Jan. 24, but was lowered following a bond hearing. He is eligible to post bail on a total bond amount of $380,120.

The Sheriff's Office said Plank told detectives she did not see anything out of the ordinary at the victim's home on Jan. 12, and had not had contact with her colleague, Bybee, since he was placed on administrative leave.

The Sheriff's Office says when Plank was interviewed Jan. 19, she disclosed to detectives that she was untruthful during her interview with detectives the day of the incident. She admitted to finding and photographing with a cellphone a drop of blood with human hair on Jan. 12.

She did not submit the photograph as evidence and following the incident she contacted Bybee to make him aware of the questions detectives had asked her related to the attempted murder investigation, the Sheriff's Office said.

Phone records obtained by detectives confirmed the communication between Plank and Bybee.

After the Jan. 19 interview, Plank was placed on administrative leave.

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Sam Colt
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Sam Colt Rank 0
She'll lose her job. Might do some time.
She is young and made a terrible decision.
Most importantly, the difference between RIGHT and WRONG.

5 days ago 
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Kurt Nitsagen
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Kurt Nitsagen Rank 0
@Sam Colt, I think she saw the choice between right and wrong, shrugged, and chose to hide her fellow cop's misdeeds,
thus becoming, in my opinion, accessory to all his crimes.
The lesson she can learn from this adventure is the difference between getting away with it and getting caught.
MUCH more important!

4 days ago 
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Kevin Renauer
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Kevin Renauer Rank 0
23 y.o. Deputy Sheriff!! That's the best we can do with law enforcement in Florida??? Why do we have such low educational and age standards to be a police with a gun??

5 days ago (edited) 
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George Wawzysko
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George Wawzysko Rank 0
@Kevin Renauer What age would you recommend and how can someone gain experience if they aren't employed? In most jurisdictions 21 is the minimum age for employment as a LEO. I don't agree with what Plank did but she just ended her LEO career due to her lack of honesty. Her credibility would be called into question every time she testified in court on any case.

5 days ago 
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John Torraco
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John Torraco Rank 0
@Kevin Renauer Unfortunately, Florida does not require a LEO to have a college degree , which is not the national norm. Truthfully, It is more difficult and requires more training to become a licensed plumber or electrician, to name a few, than a LEO in Florida. However, in many Florida jurisdictions they are paid so poorly and treated like crap. Plus they have a really tough thankless job. The Florida "justice" system is on a dollar store budget and regularly arrives at true injustices,... more

5 days ago (edited) 
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Joseph Corlett
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Joseph Corlett Rank 0
Dear Ms. Plank:

Even though you are one, the police are not your friends. You should have confessed to your lawyer, not to detectives. Doubtful you'll see any time since this Sheriff loves lying cops, but your career in this field is over.

5 days ago 
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Jerry Silverman
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Jerry Silverman Rank 0
@Joseph Corlett ;Smartass!

3 days ago 
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casemundo
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casemundo Rank 0
@Joseph Corlett you must have taken a writing class, or part of one. Appeals run out?

2 days ago (edited) 
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John Flaherty
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John Flaherty Rank 0
At the bond hearing the caregiver stated on the record 'she didn't believe the crazy old lady and took photos to refute her claims.' It is my understanding there was not $65,000 to cover the alleged forged checks Bybee was going to deposit and get back stamped INSUFFICIENT FUNDS.

If the DNA in one blood spot & hair is Bybee's does that make old lady's mental illness history & overall outlandish story any easier to believe? I don't think you can find a jury in Sarasota that does not personally... more

5 days ago 
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casemundo
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casemundo Rank 0
I like Sherriff Knight and think he does a good job. And, I'm hoping this is a one-off and not indicative of his department. If it's not, then the Sherriff has a department that's out of control and he should not be reelected.

5 days ago (edited) 
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Joseph Corlett
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Joseph Corlett Rank 0
@casemundo

"I like Sherriff Knight and think he does a good job."

Yeah, he does a great job of pronouncing people he's arrested as guilty in the Herald Tribune. Who needs an uncontaminated jury pool for a fair trial anyway when we've got a Sheriff that's cop, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner all in one sweet package?

5 days ago 
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bill smith
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bill smith Rank 0
Something doesn't sound right

I think it's the "whom".

5 days ago 
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Ed Martin
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Ed Martin Rank 0
Sad tale of probably a nice person, but officers need to be honest, and not cover up for other officers in order to build respect for LEOs. Too many people have personal tales of officers covering up for "bad apples" and making the barrel seem rotten.

5 days ago 
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Melanie Motlow
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Melanie Motlow Rank 0
Birds of a feather flock together.

semundo Rank 0
@Joseph Corlett you have obviously had some past problems with LEO and the judicial system that didn't go your way. Sorry about that

5 days ago 
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Joseph Corlett
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Joseph Corlett Rank 0
@casemundo

You're engaging in the logical fallacy of relevance, ad hominem circumstantial. My relationship or lack thereof with law enforcement is irrelevant to my arguments. You must address my points, not my circumstances. When law enforcement pronounces guilt before trial, it taints a potential jury pool. That makes it unfair and extremely unprofessional behavior. If you can explain how or why this isn't so, please do so. I'd love to lose my argument.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170209/deputy-arrested-charged-with-lying-in-bybee-case


Lyons: The sheriff missed my point about evidence against deputy

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Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight holds a news conference Jan. 23 to discuss the arrest of 46-year-old deputy Frankie Eugene Bybee. Herald-Tribune archive / 2017 / Dan Wagner
Monday
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at 7:59 PM
Updated Jan 31, 2017 at 10:58 AM
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Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, FL
His words did nothing to build more confidence in his case.

By Tom Lyons
Columnist

Sheriff Tom Knight has often been open to interviews when I asked, but last week he would not talk with me about the stunning charges he brought against Frankie Bybee, one of his veteran deputies. He still won't.

So without his help, I wrote a column that appeared Sunday about that attempted murder charge and the woman who says Bybee attacked her.

The gist of that column: I think Knight must have more strong evidence against Bybee that he has not shared, because, though the evidence he presented so far is short of confidence inspiring, Knight pulled no punches in pronouncing Bybee guilty at a press conference right after his arrest.

I'm hearing from people who have known Bybee for years and who insist he is innocent. But I am not saying that. As my column said, I have no way to know. But the sheriff has never been prone to filing reckless criminal charges and making a big presentation to bolster them.

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One of Bybee's supporters tells me some people are planning a protest outside the Sarasota County Jail. If I'm there, it will be as a journalist, not as one who believes Bybee should not have been charged. Only someone who has seen all the evidence is in a good position to judge that.

Knight might be able to quiet many Bybee believers if he could just answer some questions and tell us what makes him feel so very sure Bybee is, as Knight publicly stated, guilty of heinous crimes. Maybe there are reasons he can't.

But what Knight did after my column came out was post a scathing response. His words did nothing to build more confidence in his case against Bybee. Instead, he made it clear he is unhappy that I presented evidence that a defense attorney thinks is important.

He urged me, in a public news release, to consider my position "as an influencer of public opinion."

Knight did present one new fact that seems totally irrelevant: The federal lawsuit that Bybee had previously filed against Knight was dismissed on Friday.

My column was being written that day. I can't see what that dismissal has to do with the attempted murder charge, or anything I wrote.

In that lawsuit, Bybee had accused the sheriff of unlawfully punishing him to pressure him into dropping a separate lawsuit that had displeased one of Knight's political supporters. It had been a source of tension between Knight and Bybee. That was true before and during the attempted murder investigation and at the time of the arrest.

But in his criticism, Knight said my column "claimed a lack of evidence" against Bybee and said the charge was "related to his lawsuit against Sheriff Tom Knight."

The column didn't say any such thing. Once again: I have no way to know how much evidence there is. I think there must be more than has been revealed, and the column did not say or imply that the lawsuit had anything to do with the conclusions that Knight reached on criminal charges.

I certainly see why some people do think Knight's bias was a factor in how the sheriff decided there was enough evidence to not only arrest Bybee but to pronounce him a criminal. But their view does not change my belief that the sheriff surely must have more evidence that inspires his confidence in the charges.

So instead of bashing me for writing things I didn't write, I wish the sheriff would address what I did say. A better response might have been: "Yes, we do have more evidence that we feel we can't reveal as yet, and I firmly believe the charges are well justified."

Meanwhile, the case just gets stranger. The news release did not mention a new development: Carson Plank, a female deputy who was sent to the alleged attempted murder scene, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of actions the sheriff's office declines to divulge.

When I asked for confirmation, a spokeswoman said "conduct which arose during the course of Bybee's investigation caused us to place Ms. Plank on administrative leave. As in all ongoing investigations, I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the case, at this time."

Tom Lyons can be reached at tom.lyons@heraldtribune.com.

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David Guinart
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David Guinart Rank 0
Well by looking at the PCA's, obviously there is strong evidence suggesting Frank Bybee committed this crime which would give Tommy Boy confidence to publically presume his guilt. I mean, after all, witness statements, video surveillance, cell phone data, photographs, and his fingerprint lifted off check #831 ($5000) written to his son, surely gives the Sheriff probable cause (no pun intended!) to already claim that Dep. Bybee is guilty. Now I don't feel that the Sheriff should've thrown one of his Deputies under the bus like that so quickly. He would've been better off remaining neutral--you know just in case new information surfaces revealing that this was a frame job--especially since some of this seems a little sketchy. less

14 days ago 
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Savannah Morris
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Savannah Morris Rank 0
#FreeFrankieBybee

14 days ago 
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Shawna Bybee
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Shawna Bybee Rank 0
The sheriff tried and convicted frank before was even booked into jail. The truth will come out. Frank will be proven innocent.

15 days ago 
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Michael Carvajal
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@Shawna Bybee I know Frank for a few years now he was my son Baseball coach and I'm telling everybody I know that he is innocent he is a good man , a man of character a good friend and a great role model, this is all ******** from somebody who wants to get rid of Frank for not to follow certain agendas at the SSO, the truth will set him free !!

13 days ago 
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http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170130/lyons-sheriff-missed-my-point-about-evidence-against-deputy
John Dowd
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John Dowd Rank 0
Mr. Lyons, your sense of entitlement is even bigger than your ego. I watched the initial news conference and did not see you there asking questions. Yet, now you feel the right to be privy to information in an ongoing investigation that isn't public. Seriously! Reel in your rancor and self righteous indignation and realize the Sheriff's office doesn't exist for your "journalistic" pleasu

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    • Deputy arrested, charged with lying in Bybee case Previous — PS POST, Wed Feb 15 06:04
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