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Two Charged in Beating
Couple arrested in drug house
By Millard K. Ives
The Star-Banner
April 13, 2006

Two people accused of trying to blind a man with bleach before beating him with a wooden cross, a hammer and the butt of a BB gun in a home robbery were arrested Wednesday.

Investigators with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said Shelley E. Brown and Ricky L. Johnson ended their attack early Monday by tying up the 58-year-old Summerfield man with duct tape, robbing him and leaving him for dead.

Deputies who were called to the home on Southeast 178th Lane found pools of blood.

Gary M. Mathis had gashes so deep, his skull could be seen, according to investigators. It took 35 stitches and 12 staples to close his wounds.

"It's a wonder he even survived," said Capt. Thomas Bibb of the Major Crimes Unit.
Mathis identified the two intruders as Brown, 33, and Johnson, 35. Officials discovered Mathis' stolen 1995 S10 Chevy at a junk yard in Sumter County.

Upon questioning area residents, detectives were told that Brown and Johnson had been frequenting drug homes in the Lake Panasoffkee area within recent days, Bibb said.

He said officials with Sumter County Sheriff's Office stumbled upon the couple about 4 a.m. Wednesday in a drug house in Lake Panasoffkee, where Brown was reportedly caught holding a crack pipe.

The couple were charged with attempted homicide, home invasion, auto theft and kidnapping and made their first court appearance Wednesday morning. Brown also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both were in the Marion County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $77,000 bail each.
"They definitely had the intent to rob and kill him," Bibb said.

Detectives said Wednesday that Brown has not talked since her arrest and Johnson denied he broke in the home. A bare-chested Johnson, wearing camouflage pants, and Brown, wearing tight, short, cut-off jeans and black boots, walked in silence as they were being escorted by detectives and deputies Wednesday afternoon from the Marion County Sheriff's Office to the jail.

According to an incident report, Mathis said he paid Brown $50 for a sex act Saturday night while Johnson sat inside the home.

The couple left the residence the next day but broke into the home early Monday morning while Mathis was sleeping.

A "beware of the dog" sign was on still on Mathis' door Wednesday, and a dog was chained in the yard of the light brown house.

Mathis told detectives when he woke up to the two rummaging through his home, Johnson threw bleach in his face and started striking him with the butt of a BB rifle.

According to the incident report, Mathis said Johnson frequently yelled to Brown to "give me something to kill him with." Brown passed him objects, which included a one-foot long wooden cross mounted on the wall and hammer that Johnson used in the assault before duct taping Mathis to a chair.

The two attackers reportedly then grabbed Mathis' wallet and keys and drove off in the Chevy pick-up.

Mathis was able to crawl to a pair of wire cutters in his home to cut himself loose and stagger to a neighbor's house for help.

Mathis could not be reached by phone Wednesday.

Copyright 2006, Star-Banner

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