The Daytona Beach Police Department has arrested the man who allegedly killed UCF student Ethan Halverson.
A warrant was issued on April 22 for the arrest of Jimmie Lee Baker III, also known as "Rambo" and "Deonte," who was charged with second-degree murder and is currently being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail. The 21 year old was taken into custody on April 5 without bail. An anonymous tip led police to Baker and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Tiesha Johnson.
Halverson, an electrical engineering major, was found dead from a gunshot wound to his lower back on April 2 outside of The Overlook apartment complex in Daytona Beach. The police report states that Halverson, 19, was killed trying to exact revenge for his friend Liam Sines, who was previously robbed and injured by Baker.
"Halverson became angry about what happened to Sines and stated that he wanted to get 'Deonte' back and that he would set him up, possibly on Friday night," according to the police report. "On the night of [April 1], Ethan Halverson decided to get retribution for what happened to Sines on [March 29]."
According to the police report, 18-year-old Sines organized a drug deal on March 29 through Tyler Jarvis, 18, who had worked with Baker in the past. Sines, accompanied by his girlfriend Nicole Sarro and driver Brianna Holt, was "ripped-off" when Baker stole $260 worth of Xanax.
This isn't Halverson's first run in with drugs. He and Ethan Baxa, then 17, were found in possession of 57 Xanax pills on August 13, 2015. Halverson admitted to taking one and a half Xanax bars before driving to Ponce Inlet and was charged with driving under the influence as well as possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a park.
Sines was injured when Baker grabbed the bag of Xanax and attempted to flee in a green Honda Civic driven by 20-year-old Breon "Squeeze" Robinson. Sines was dragged for a short distance, which injured his foot and left him with multiple abrasions. Holt, 18, called the police but hung up before finishing a report and drove Sines to Ormond Memorial Hospital after attempting to bandage his injuries at 720 N. Oleander Ave.
After the hospital, the three returned to 720 N. Oleander Ave. where they met Halverson and informed him of the theft. On April 1, Halverson set up a meeting with Baker for the following night. On April 2, Adam Alafghani, 19, Sines and Halverson arrived in a light green Toyota Prius to meet Baker at The Overlook apartments.
Video footage shows Havlerson exiting the Prius, entering a 2015 Chevy Cruise and then leaving the vehicle moments later only to be shot in the back. The Chevy left the scene immediately, after which Sines and Alafghani helped Halverson into the Prius.
Alafghani stated in an interview with Det. Darrell Runge that Halverson had taken a "short metal pipe or rod" to the drug deal. Sines said Halverson took the pipe for self-defense. The pipe has not been recovered as of yet.
"Jus almost got robbed had to bust a craka," Baker texted Johnson after the incident. "Omw home bae I shot a craka he tried to get rob up ... Yae um goin to sleep bak hurtn craka hit us wit a pipe."
When Baker was taken into custody, he was wearing only shorts and flipflops. Runge and Det. Grant tried to interview Baker, but Baker requested a lawyer after being read his Miranda rights. It was noted in the police report that Baker had "several marks and abrasions on his upper torso that looked recent."
Alissa Smith is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @thealissasmith or email her at AlissaS@centralfloridafuture.com.