Leon County, Florida- July 19, 2012
On July 14, 2012, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residential burglary in progress at 14010 Leon Lane. Deputies responded and made contact with Leo Smyly, his 17-year old daughter and his 14-year old son. Deputies learned that Smyly’s children woke him up because a man was breaking into their house.
Smyly confronted the man inside his home, ordered him to leave and fought with him. Smyly later told detectives that the man was demanding the keys to Smyly’s car. During the fight, Smyly’s son retrieved a firearm. When the man saw the firearm, he fled the scene on foot after the son fired a shot in the suspect’s direction. Smyly sustained multiple cuts and bruises during the fight with the suspect. Smyly was later treated and released from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
The suspect ran to 14022 High Hills Circle where he picked up a large freestanding ashtray and threw it through the glass portion of the side door of the house. The suspect then confronted Cathy Cromartie and her 16 year old son.
The suspect grabbed a large pair of scissors from inside the residence and approached Cromartie and her daughter Shanetta Cromartie, 25. The suspect threatened the Cromarties with the scissors, told them he had a gun and demanded the keys to a 2007 Black Nissan Altima. The suspect got into the Altima and fled the area of the residence. No one was injured at this location. The suspect drove the stolen Altima to Fairbanks Ferry Road and crashed it into a tree and farm fence.
John Gibson, 52, was driving westbound on Fairbanks Ferry Road in his Black 2001 Nissan truck and saw the man walking away from the crashed car. Gibson stopped to check on the man and was asked for a ride. Once the man was inside Gibson’s truck, he told Gibson he had a gun and demanded Gibson’s money and the truck. Gibson told detectives that the suspect crashed the truck into a drainage ditch on the south side of Fairbanks Ferry Road.
The suspect then confronted Norman Fose, 83, and Anna Fose, 56, when they stopped to assist. The suspect told them he had a gun and forced them out of their 2004 Silver Chrysler Sebring. The suspect drove the Sebring west on Fairbanks Ferry Road at a high rate of speed until he lost control and crashed through the guardrail near Fairbanks Ferry Court and died.
The subject was positively identified by fingerprints, as Kendall Dale Walker (BM 12/3/72). On July 15, 2012, an autopsy was performed on Walker. Preliminary results of the autopsy indicated Walker died from crash related trauma.
Leon County, Florida - July 18, 2012
The man accused of breaking into two homes and crashing three cars off Fairbanks Ferry Road Saturday 7-14-12 before dying has been identified.
The Leon County Sheriff's Office has identified the man as 39-year-old Kendall Dale Walker of Tallahassee.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website, Walker is a registered sex offender. The website shows in 2001 Walker was convicted on sexual battery charges on a victim under 12. In 2011, the website shows he was convicted again. This time on lewd and lascivious battery on a victim 12-15.
A preliminary autopsy report shows Walker died from blunt force trauma, consistent with that from a car crash.
A toxicology report is still pending. It may take at least 6-8 weeks before it is complete.
Leon County, Florida - July 15, 2012
A bizarre crime spree in Leon County Saturday ends with three carjackings and the suspected carjacker dead. Now, one of the couples whose car was stolen is speaking out to Eyewitness News. They've asked we not use their names or show their faces to protect their identities.
The couple says the last few months haven't been easy. They moved into their Georgia home back in February, but are struggling to make ends meet. They sold everything they had just to pay the bills and stay afloat.
"We've had no power or running water since May. And we don't have the money for anything right now," said the wife.
But what the couple did have was hope and a lifeline in the form of 2005 Chrysler Sebring. They used the car to power their phones and get ice from the store up the street to keep their food from spoiling.
The car was also their only means of getting to work. The husband had just landed a new job back in May. That's where they were heading Saturday 7-14-12 when they saw a pickup that had crashed on the side of Fairbanks Ferry Road. The couple decided to stop and help. But the Leon County Sheriff's Office says the man they were about to help had just broken into two homes and was about to steal his third car that morning.
"He was walking towards us and pushed us out of the way and said 'I'm taking car,' " said the husband.
The couple says they watched him drive away in their car, fishtailing back and forth. The man went a little further up the road before crashing into a ditch and dying. While what happened cost the couple their car, they say they're thankful it didn't cost someone else their life.
"He may have hit somebody head on and killed somebody else. So I'm so glad we lost that car,' she said.
"Lost it that way instead of killing somebody else in the process," he said.
But after all that's happened the couple says it won't stop helping people.
"I can't let this harden my heart and not help people just because this happened and could happen again. A lot of things could happen," he said.
The Sheriff's Office has not identified the alleged carjacker.
Here's a list of items the family says it can use:
- Food: canned, boxed & shelf stable stuff until we can do something about refrigeration
- Pet food (dog & cat), cat litter & flea meds
- Paper goods
- A working fridge (donated or loaned)
- A large cooler (donated or loaned. If we get a fridge this won't be needed)
Items can be mail to P.O. Box 454, Havana, Fl 32333 Gift
Leon County, Florida -July 14
A bizarre chain of events on Fairbanks Ferry Road in Leon County left behind at least five crime scenes and one person dead.
"It seems to be quiet and stuff but every now and then you have some people who step out and do some crazy things around here," says Douglas Mathis who has lived in the area for more than 30 years.
Neighbors over on Leon County's North end awoke to a strange scene Saturday 7-14-12
"We have at least three vehicles involved and two residences. We have a crime scene spread out across a two and a half mile stretch," says Lt James McQuaig of the Leon County Sheriff's Office.
Just before 6:30 a.m., the Leon County Sheriff's Office got a call about a break-in over on Leon Lane.
"During that incident, the victim was assaulted by the burglar," says McQuaig.
The Sheriff's Office says the burglar left the home and broke into another one off of High Hills Circle. There, they say he stole a car and crashed it into a tree just up the road.
"A Good Samaritan stopped to render assistance, to see if he could help. At that time the suspect carjacked that individual," says McQuaig.
Now driving in a stolen pickup, the Sheriff's Office says the man made it about a mile up the road before crashing in a ditch. Another couple stopped to help. The Sheriff's Office says the man then stole their car and drove it up the road to the corner of Fairbanks Ferry Road and Fairbanks Ferry Court where he crashed and died. He has not been identified.
It's not clear if a weapon was involved in any of these crimes or what the motive behind them was.
At this time, the Sheriff's Office does not believe the man accused of these crimes knew his victims.
The Sheriff's Office is waiting for autopsy and toxicology report to be conducted.