Two men are accused of drugging, beating, and then robbing a woman at a Lake Worth Beach hotel. Thirty-six-year-old Wayne Hightower and another man, Corey Jackson are charged with aggravated battery, robbery, and false imprisonment. Jackson was released from custody after posting bond while Hightower remains in custody.
Police say that the woman was staying with her sister at the same motel where the men conducted the crime. Hightower and Jackson invited the women to travel with them to South Beach and offered the sisters drinks. The siblings told police that they blacked out after consuming the drinks.
The next thing they remember was Hightower punching the younger sibling in the face. Police say that the two men dragged the younger sibling out of the vehicle and left her in the parking lot. They say that Hightower stole $200 in cash, several credit cards, and an iPhone.
Jackson, the one who posted bail, claims that he never struct anyone and spent the majority of time in the motel room.
Taking a Look at the Charges
The men are accused of aggravated battery, false imprisonment, and robbery. Here, we’ll take a look at the charges.
The first charge of aggravated battery is the most serious. Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony in Florida and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. In order to charge a battery offense as aggravated, the prosecution will need to show that the perpetrator caused “great bodily harm” to the victim or that they used a deadly weapon in perpetrating the crime. It’s unclear from the article what kind of injury the accused allegedly caused to their victims. It is also unclear if they used a deadly weapon to perpetrate the crime, but in this case, tampering with someone’s drink is also considered a second-degree felony.
The second crime they’ve been charged with is false imprisonment. This means that they held the accusers against their will without the proper legal authority to do so. False imprisonment is a third-degree felony and is punishable by a maximum of five years in state prison.
Lastly, they’ve been charged with robbery which is also a second-degree felony in Florida. Robbery occurs when a suspect is believed to have used physical force to commit a theft. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Adding it all up, our defendants are facing a potential 35-year prison sentence. They are charged with two felonies in the second degree and one felony in the third degree. In this case, a defendant could negotiate the best plea deal if they were willing to sell out the other defendant. This, of course, depends on the strength of the state’s case against both defendants. If the state has a strong case, then they will be less willing to offer a deal.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.