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Man convicted of murder in Lake City stabbing

Man, 33, found guilty of stabbing mother of his child in 2014

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A 33-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the April 2014 stabbing death of a Lake City woman.

The sentencing hearing for Carlis Lindsey III will begin Monday.

The case began April 11, 2014, when the Lake City Police Department responded to a call that an unresponsive woman was lying in the street near the intersection of NE Jackson Street and JE Morgan Avenue. Police found Chaquasha Shawtey Avinger face down in the street, bleeding from numerous stab wounds.

EMS responded and transported Avinger to the hospital where she died.

During the course of the investigation, Lindsey, who was the father of Avinger’s child, was developed as a suspect. He fled the scene in Avinger’s rental vehicle after the crime, and went into hiding, police said.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and a two-day search for Lindsey began.

On April 13, 2014, investigators learned that Mickell P. Jerkins, 33, was harboring Lindsey at his home. He was contacted and interviewed, but denied knowledge of Lindsey’s whereabouts.

After his interview, Jerkins discovered who informed the police that Lindsey was at his home. After searching the neighborhood, Jerkins found the informant and attacked him, knocking out one of his teeth, police said. Jerkins was charged with battery, criminal mischief and tampering with a witness. A warrant was obtained for Jerkins’ home but when police searched it, it was empty.

During a perimeter search, however, an officer discovered that someone had broken into the residence next door. A search of that home found Lindsey hiding inside. Just before he was caught, Lindsey swallowed a large amount of multiple prescription medicines found in that home and had to be taken to a hospital, police said. He was later released and transferred to the jail.

“Our team has worked diligently for a long time on this case,” LCPD Police Chief Argatha Gilmore said. “Seeing a case of this nature through the criminal justice system does not stop when we
make an arrest. This trial was the conclusion to over a year and a half’s worth of work, and I would like to thank my officers and investigators, the other assisting agencies. Because of their efforts, a dangerous criminal has been convicted.”