Accused killed worked in corrections, health care for years

60-year-old accused of killing, dismembering 16-year-old boy in 1994


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man arrested earlier this month for killing a Nassau County teenager in 1994 worked decades as a correctional officer, and later as a counselor while living a quiet life in a Jacksonville Beach neighborhood.

Ronnie Hyde is accused with murder in the death of Fred Laster, whose dismembered remains were found behind a gas station off Interstate 75 in Columbia County. The 16-year-old boy remained a missing person until the remains were identified in 2015.

Hyde's first known job in the 1970s was as a corrections officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, then he attended Florida Community College at Jacksonville and the University of North Florida from 1974 to 1981, then returned to UNF in 1983 and received a master's degree in counseling in 1998.

During that time he worked as a mental health manager with River Region Human Services in 1993, then worked as a drug court counselor for Gateway Community Services in the late 1990s.

Between 1997 and 2008 Hyde worked at Therapist at Intrinsic Inc, where there he treated mental, behavioral and emotional disorders of juvenile and adult sex offenders in a detoxification unit. Hyde also worked as a therapist with Nassau County Mental Health in the early 2000s.

News4Jax received Hyde's personnel file from the Florida Department of Corrections, where he worked as a psychological specialist since 2008. According to the file, Hyde worked as a mental health manager at River Region Human Services during the time Laster was killed. Part of his role there was assessing and evaluating the emotional, psychiatric and chronically mentally ill consumers.

While working at the DOC, Hyde received several performance evaluations. His most recent evaluation, in 2013, showed several low scores. 

"Mr. Hyde is a capable and experienced employee who underwent a 'redacted' this reporting period," his supervisor wrote. "It is expected that this current evaluation reflects what is a temporary lull in performance rather than a new trend."