2015 Valor Awards Honors Heroic Brevard County Sheriff’s Office First Responders
By Space Coast Daily // August 20, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The 7th Annual Valor Awards Banquet was held at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place on Wednesday evening.
This special event is to recognize the law members of public safety who courageously respond to the citizens of Brevard County in their time of need.
The Chamber honored the acts of heroism and formally paid tribute to the outstanding actions of the public safety personnel.
Each year the Valor Awards honor local public safety personnel (Sheriff, Police, Fire, Rescue, and Military) in Brevard County for acts of extraordinary valor.
Multiple awards are presented to personnel nominated by their peers for putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the citizens of our community.
“It was my honor to be in attendance tonight with so many of Brevard’s heroes,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
“The Valor Awards, that was graciously hosted by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce, recognized the outstanding accomplishments of our first responders. I am so proud of their efforts and wish to thank them for their dedicated service to our citizens and community.”
The 2015 Valor Awards were presented in three categories including Medal of Valor, Life Saving Medal and Award of Merit.
“The loyal dedication and unwavering commitment these brave law enforcement officers exhibit every day as they put their lives on the line to serve our community is nothing short of exceptional,” said Assistant State Attorney Laura Moody.
The 2015 Presenting Sponsors were Walmart and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care; the 2015 Trustee Silver Sponsors were AT&T, Berman, Hopkins, Wright & LaHam, CPAs & Associates, City of Melbourne, Regions Bank, Wesche Jewelers and Harris Corporation; the 2015 Corporate Table Sponsors included Wells Fargo and eBay Enterprises; and the 2015 Public Safety Sponsors inclded Buena Vida, BB&T and Artemis.
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Award Recipients:
• Valor Award: Agent Rick Clements and Deputy Nicolas Worthy
• Life Saving Award: Deputy Kayla Durr, Deputy Douglas Postlethweight, Deputy David Turbeville and Corrections Deputy Marcos Allende-Villafane
• Award of Merit: Corrections Deputy Jessica Bradford, Agent Joseph Martin and Lt. Todd Maddox
Agent Rick Clements
On Christmas Day, 2014, patrol units responded to a shooting incident in which a man had become involved in an argument with his family, shooting at least nine times into residence from outside. The rounds nearly struck several members of the shooter’s family who were celebrating inside, including a 2-year-old child.
Deputies made contact with the suspect by telephone who was very emotional, threatening to further harm his family and take his own life or any officer’s life who tried to stop him.
With probable cause for the suspect’s arrest for Aggravated Assault Domestic Violence and Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling, the GAMEOVER Task Force began attempting to locate the suspect.
Agent Rick Clements received information from a confidential source indicating that the suspect was located at an apartment in Cocoa. Agent Clements quickly mobilized with other members of the Task Force and all parties responded to the area.
Agent Clements was the first to arrive and began setting up surveillance in the area when he observed the suspect outside an apartment. Agent Clements could see that the suspect was unarmed and moved on foot to gain a better vantage point. The suspect then observed Agent Clements and took flight, entering one of the apartments as Agent Clements followed.
As they entered the apartment, the suspect entered a bedroom, grabbing an object off a piece of furniture. Agent Clements used the doorframe as cover and recognized that the suspect had armed himself with a firearm as he turned toward Agent Clements’ position.
The suspect placed the firearm to his head and Agent Clements began negotiations, urging him to put the gun down. The suspect moved the gun away from his head, pointed it in the direction of Agent Clements and manipulated the slide, loading the gun. As the suspect pointed the gun toward Agent Clements, Agent Clements fired three times, striking the suspect and stopping the threat.
For his actions in subduing a violent felon and preventing further violence, Agent Clements was awarded a Medal of Valor, 2014 Deputy of the Year, 2014 Countywide Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and 2014 Runner-up FSA Florida Deputy of the Year.
Deputy Nicholas Worthy
During March 2015, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Moss Lane and Aurora Road, Cocoa, to assist the Cocoa Police Department regarding the report of an armed subject discharging a firearm in a residential area.
Shortly after the call was dispatched, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office advised the incident was occurring in the City of Cocoa and advised responding deputies to disregard. Deputy Worthy and several other units continued to the incident to assist the Cocoa Police Department.
The original 911-caller stated the suspect was repeatedly shooting from across the street and a single bullet entered their home, which was occupied by both adults and children. Deputy Nicholas Worthy was the first deputy to arrive on scene.
Deputy Worthy turned onto Aurora Road from West King Street and blacked out his patrol unit. As he approached the intersection at Aurora Road and Thor Avenue, he observed a person matching the description of the armed suspect.
Deputy Worthy stopped his patrol unit in the middle of the roadway and activated his emergency blue-lights, at which time the suspect began advancing towards Deputy Worthy and his marked patrol vehicle, discharging a semi-automatic pistol directly at Deputy Worthy.
Deputy Worthy tactically exited his patrol unit, while under heavy gunfire from the advancing suspect. The suspect continued to aggressively advance towards Deputy Worthy, who was exchanging gunfire with the suspect. Deputy Worthy’s responded to and was able neutralize the threat with deadly force.
It was later discovered that the suspect had shot multiple rounds at occupied residences and vehicles with the intent to injure or potentially kill innocent citizens. He had an extensive and violent criminal history to include prior firearm charges.
Deputy Worthy’s courage and heroic actions saved the lives of innocent citizens, responding deputies, and Cocoa Police Officers. For his courage and heroism, he has been nominated for the Medal of Valor.
Deputy Kayla Durr
During January 2015, dispatchers received a call from the parents of 6-day-old infant Madelyn who was struggling to breathe. Upon Deputy Durr’s arrival, she was met by the mother who was holding the motionless child who was no longer breathing.
Deputy Durr took the child, assessed her, and administered a 2 finger Heimlich maneuver twice.
The infant responded to the lifesaving efforts and began to breathe and cry. While she was monitoring the child, she again stopped breathing.
Deputy Durr repeating the thrusts, and again she began to breathe normally.
Upon arrival of paramedics, Deputy Durr informed them of the infant’s condition and they were able to locate and remove a large quantity of mucous from her airway by suction before transporting her for further treatment.
Emergency Room doctors said the infant was simply too young and weak to clear her airway on her own, but she survived the ordeal thanks to Deputy Durr’s quick actions.
For her actions, Deputy Durr has been nominated for a Life Saving Bar.
Deputy Douglas Postlethweight and Deputy David Turbeville
During February 2015, Deputy Douglas Postlethweight and Deputy David Turbeville responded to an apartment fire. The caller advised that two people lived inside.
The deputies could see thick smoke through the blinds and began knocking on the locked door and windows in an attempt to locate anyone inside.
Deputy Turbeville was able to observe a person on the couch not responding and breached the window. The deputies located an unconscious female on the couch. Once outside, she regained consciousness, but was extremely disoriented and stated there was no one else inside.
Deputy Postlethweight then reentered the burning structure to check. Deputy Postlethweight then located and assisted a male located in a back bedroom to safety.
The male stated there were no other people inside, but there were several pets. Fire Rescue then arrived and successfully rescued the pets. For their actions, Deputies Postlethweight and Turbeville have been nominated for Life Saving Bars.
Corrections Deputy Marcos Allende-Villafane
During May 2015, Corrections Deputy Marcos Allende-Villafane was off duty, driving in the Rockledge area when noticed what appeared to be lights in a ditch on US 1.
He turned to light the area with his headlights and saw the overturned vehicle in the ditch.
Deputy Allende-Villafane immediately entered the water to render aid to any possible occupants, calling out but getting no response. A car arrived on scene and the driver was the boyfriend of the driver of the vehicle in the ditch.
Deputy Allende-Villafane maneuvered through the murky ditch attempting to search the overturned vehicle that was sinking into the water and muck.
All of the doors of the vehicle were locked and he heard a female from inside the vehicle saying that she was drowning. Deputy Allende-Villafane knew that he needed to calm her so that she could help him.
He was able to get her to unlock the door, but pulling it open through the three feet of water and soft muddy bottom was difficult. He eventually gained entry, was able to free the female from her seatbelt and carry her to safety.
Without Deputy Allende-Villafane’s quick actions, it is very probable that she would have drowned in her car. Deputy Allende-Villafane has been nominated for a Life Saving Award.
Corrections Deputy Jessica Bradford
During March 2015, Corrections Deputy Bradford was working at the Female Facility of the Jail Complex.
While in the process of transferring inmates over to booking, Corrections Deputy Bradford was verifying the inmates on the release list with the inmates that were lined up to be releasing.
Corrections Deputy Bradford noticed that one of the inmates was not one of the inmates that she had called for to be released. Corrections Deputy Bradford immediately challenged this inmate on her identity.
The inmate claimed she was the inmate called to be released.
While further investigating the inmate’s story, Corrections Deputy Bradford noticed that this inmate was wearing the actual inmate’s armband and glasses of the person to be released in hopes that the Corrections
Deputy Bradford would not realize that she was not the inmate to be released.
Due to Corrections Deputy Bradford’s observations and attention to detail, she was able to stop an inmate from impersonating another in order to attempt to escape from custody.
For her actions, Corrections Deputy Bradford was nominated for a Bar of Merit.
Agent Joseph Martin
In July 1988, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office began the homicide investigation of Ramona Moore. The early investigation revealed that the victim, Ramona Moore, was sexually assaulted and then brutally murdered.
In 1988 and the years to follow, Homicide Agents conducted numerous interviews and Crime Scene Investigators documented and scoured the crime scene collecting key evidence.
Although a tremendous effort was put into the investigation, the case eventually went cold. The investigation was looked at through the years by several agents but in 2010, Agent Joe Martin decided to review the case file.
After reviewing the case, Agent Martin realized that cigarette butts and other physical evidence found at the crime scene were sent to a lab but never followed up on. Agent Martin made contact with the lab and advised that he had reopened the investigation and requested the evidence to be processed for DNA.
While waiting for the results, Agent Martin began examining the case file to uncover the intimate details of the investigations. Through the years investigators developed several subjects who were considered persons of interest. The direction of the investigation were focused on these subjects and led in many different directions.
In 2011, Agent Martin received the results of the cigarette butts and other physical evidence found at the crime scene. The lab identified a DNA profile that matched a subject known as Robert Peek. Agent Martin quickly realized that Robert Peek was never identified as a suspect or witness in the investigation up to that point. Agent Martin then began the daunting task of conducting a background investigation into Robert Peek.
Agent Martin was able to discover that Robert Peek did live in the area at the time of the murder. In 2012, Agent Martin devised a plan to conduct an interview with Robert Peek, who was incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail. Agent Martin met with Robert Peek, who waived his Constitutional Rights and agreed to speak about the murder investigation.
Part of Agent Martin’s plan was to simply build rapport with Peek and determine if he had any information about any cold case investigations. Peek was willing to cooperate and denied having any knowledge of the Ramona Moore murder or any other murder investigation.
After speaking with Peek for a period of time Agent Martin concluded the interview without any admissions. Agent Martin knew that it would take time to build that trust with Peek so he did not rush and had a game plan. Less than a month later, Agent Martin contacted Peek again while at the county jail. Peek again agreed to speak with Agent Martin and provided a post Miranda statement.
As Agent Martin began his second interview, he realized his patience was going to pay off. During the interview Peek admitted to being with the victim at the time of her murder, but claimed another subject was the one who actually killed her. Agent Martin’s knowledge and extensive research with the case allowed him to refute some of Peeks claims of another person committing the murder.
With that being said, Agent Martin continued to remain patient and continued with the interview. Peek soon realized that his best option was to be completely truthful because Agent Martin was too prepared. Peek eventually recanted his previous statement and gave a full confession to the sexual battery and murder of Ramona Moore.
Peek gave a chilling account of how he committed the murder. Peek was arrested for First Degree Murder and Sexual Battery and later indicted for these crimes.
On April 6, 2015, Peek entered a guilty plea for First Degree Murder and Sexual Battery by use of great force and was sentenced to life in prison.
This investigation spanned over 25 years and was investigated by numerous Homicide Agents. In 2010, Agent Martin took the initiative to review the cold case and identify potential evidence that could be processed. This investigation is a testament to Agent Martin’s perseverance and dedication. Agent Martin has been nominated for a Bar of Merit.
Lt. Todd Maddox
During July 2014, Lt. Maddox responded to Melbourne Beach in reference to four swimmers who were caught in a rip current. After arriving at the beach, he learned that three of the group had made it safely to shore, but one was missing.
Lt. Maddox observed this individual about 100 yards offshore in extreme distress. Without regard for his own safety, Lieutenant Maddox entered the heavy surf in an attempt to rescue the swimmer.
As he swam toward the individual, he saw him go under the waves and not resurface.
Arriving at the spot he last observed the swimmer, Lt. Maddox spent approximately 20 minutes diving in the ocean in an attempt to find him without success.
Lt. Maddox returned to the beach and directed lifeguards to the area who continued the search without success.
Unfortunately the swimmer did not survive, his body being located four hours later, north of the original location.
This does not diminish the heroic efforts of Lt. Maddox, who placed himself in jeopardy, without reservation, in an attempt to save a life. For that, he was awarded a Bar of Merit.