Suwannee Democrat

Suwannee Democrat

November 6, 2012

Grand jury to hear FHP shooting case

Live Oak — The Suwannee County Grand Jury will assemble in a Suwannee County courtroom Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. to hear the case involving FHP Trooper Derek MacLaren, 33, who shot and killed Brent Blevins, 25, following a high speed chase and traffic stop in late August, according to Third Circuit State Attorney Skip Jarvis.

On Sunday, Aug. 26 around 2:05 p.m., MacLaren conducted a traffic stop on Blevins following a vehicle chase on US 90, east of Live Oak. When the vehicle came to a stop, Blevins exited the vehicle, reportedly with a gun. He was reportedly shot between four and five times and died on route to a Gainesville hospital.

Following the shooting, MacLaren was placed on administrative leave for three days before returning to work.  

Jarvis will present the case to the 21 member panel to determine what course of action should be taken, if any. 
“I like to use a grand jury as the conscious of the community,” Jarvis said. “Twenty-one heads are better than one, and with that, we’ll be able to make an accurate decision.”

Jarvis continued, “The investigation is complete, and so they’ll hear the case and will decide where to go from here.”
The investigation was conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who has not released its findings yet.

The jury has two options regarding the matter. After reviewing the evidence, the jury could make an indictment if criminal activity is found or they could render a no true bill, which means the jury did not find evidence to charge the defendant with violating a law.

By law, the grand jury will meet behind closed doors and it is unknown as to how long it will take the jury to conclude.

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