Citizen Cleared of Shooting
Police After 5 Years in Jail

By Dean Weingarten. April 24, 2020
Article Source

On 20 August, 2015, in Brevard County, Florida, John DeRossett, 65, shot and severely wounded a Brevard County sheriff's deputy.

The agent was part of a sting operation, who were attempting to arrest DeRossett's niece, Mary Ellis, for prostitution. They had set up a controlled environment at a motel, but Mary Ellis did not show up. From

Brevard County agents set up a prostitution sting on Aug. 20, 2015, arranging to meet DeRossett's niece, Mary Ellis, at a motel where a controlled environment had been set up to conduct an arrest.

When she didn't show, the three deputies in plain clothes went to her Covina Street home in Port St. John, where Agent Peter Stead grabbed Ellis from the doorway while John "Casey" Smith and Jason Roberts hid in the darkened yard.

During their testimony at the immunity hearing, the deputies said it was unusual to go to a suspect's home for a sting operation when a controlled environment had already been established.

When she was grabbed, Ellis began screaming for help from her uncle, who was in a back room eating at the time, according to court records.

There was strong evidence DeRossett did not know the men accosting his niece were deputies. None of the deputies was in uniform. .....

Why, with the evidence which was plain from the start, was John DeRossett locked up for nearly five years, when he was a homeowner, retired, who had no previous criminal record? He was jailed for defending his niece against attackers who did not identify themselves as police or present a warrant, and so was defending against what was a justifiably perceived home invasion.


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