Man accused of abuse after disabled man dies

JSO: Kevin Wilkes, 32, dies at hospital after being found unresponsive

Freddie Lee Williams is charged with aggravated abuse of a disabled man

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Westside man is charged with aggravated abuse of a disabled adult in the death of a disabled man at an agency for persons with disabilities Sunday, according to police.

Freddie Lee Williams, 51, was arrested by police after caregiver, Shadale Martin, went to work Saturday night and found the 300-pound Williams on the couch, sitting in the lap of 32-year-old Kevin Wilkes, police said. 

Wilkes wasn't breathing and unresponsive when Martin found him, police said. He was rushed to St. Vincent's Riverside Hospital where he died early Sunday morning, according to police records.

The State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and the cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Owner of R&R Loving Hands, Sophia Rasher, told police when Williams gets upset, he takes it out on Wilkes. She also said Williams has sat on Wilkes three times in the past and has been seen punching and dragging Wilkes around.

According to police records, Williams suffered from mental retardation, autism and epilepsy. R&R Loving Hands staff told police that Williams also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, hypertension, episodic mood disorder and obesity. 

R&R Loving Hands staff told police that Williams rarely speaks. When he does, it's only a few words and only to people he is comfortable with. 

According to police records, detectives met with Martin who said she saw Williams behave violently four or five times. She also told police that she witnessed Williams sit on Wilkes three other times. 

Rasher told police that Williams has been at her facility since December.

In statement to police in March, Rasher said Williams sat on Wilkes and became very angry. Once police arrived, they witnessed Williams punch Wilkes in the face. Williams was Baker Acted and taken to UF Health at Jacksonville. 

Williams was also Baker Acted in December for violent behavior and raising his fists to police, according to police records.

Due to Williams' limited mental capacity, a decision was made not to question or advise him of his Miranda rights, police said.

Neighbor of the facility, Jack Ray, said their neighborhood is quiet but this isn't the first time he's seen police there. 

"He's had the police department called on him multiple times for acting up. For what, I don’t know." Ray said. 

According to police records, police were called to the R&R Loving Hands a dozen times over the past year. 

The communications director for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Melanie Mowry Etters, issued a statement about the case:

APD's top priority is ensuring the health and safety of individuals living in facilities licensed by our agency. The issues surrounding this tragic loss of life have been very thoroughly reviewed. It has been determined that R & R Loving Hands Group Home in Jacksonville properly followed policies and procedures, and APD will continue to work with this facility and hold them to the highest possible standard. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office continues to hold the individual accused of causing the death in custody."

A vigil will be held for Wilkes at Pine Castle on June 30.


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