As a second degree murder case from 2014 is adjudicated in Lee County Superior Court – the second of three suspects pleaded guilty last week to a reduced charge – a home where the killing occurred was declared a “nuisance” and shut down in recent months.
On Tuesday, the Sanford City Council passed a budget amendment to fund demolition of the building at 136 E. Chisholm St., which has served as a boarding house for several decades. It’s unclear whether there are future plans for the property, which now belongs to the city of Sanford.
Built in 1920, the house was the location of the June 2014 beating death of David Heron (subscription required). But a judgment on file at the Lee County Register of Deeds office shows a civil action commenced by city government in September of 2016 claiming the property was a nuisance because its residents had used it as a location for prostitution, drug crimes, and even instances of assault and murder. The judgment, dated April of this year, prevented the owner from maintaining a boarding house at the site and ordered that the parcel be transferred to the city in exchange for $3,500.
Court documents allege that Heron was dragged onto the boarding house property as he walked along Chisholm Street in 2014 and attacked “by punching and kicking.” He later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.
The three men charged in his death have been working their way through local courts; one, Larry Brown, was released from custody at the Lee County Jail after pleading guilty on May 31 to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and receiving credit for time served. Another, David Lindsey, pleaded guilty in 2016 to voluntary manslaughter and is serving a seven year sentence. Charges of second degree murder – which Brown and Lindsey faced before their plea deals – against a third suspect, Wesley Raeford, are still pending.