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Friday, Nov 17, 2017
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Suspect in shooting of deputy denied bail

TAMPA - A former U.S. Marine accused of shooting a sheriff's deputy will be held without bail after his attorney didn't object, citing his client's mental condition. Mark O'Brien, attorney for Matthew Buendia, agreed with prosecutors that his client shouldn't be freed. O'Brien and Buendia's family contend he has post traumatic stress syndrome from his combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "He is mentally ill and would be a danger to himself and others," O'Brien told Judge Ronald N. Ficarrotta at a bail hearing Tuesday. "Mr. Buendia needs to stay in custody." Buendia, 24, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon. He is accused of shooting Deputy Lyonelle De Veaux when she responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute between Buendia and his girlfriend Sept. 30.
Assistant State Attorney Michael Sinacore said Buendia already proved he was a threat to others by shooting De Veaux three times. He asked Ficarrotta to keep Buendia jailed until his trial. While not objecting to his client remaining in custody, O'Brien said jail isn't the best place for Buendia. O'Brien said he was working with the Veterans Administration to find a secure mental health facility for his client. He said if one can be found, he might return to court seeking Buendia's transfer to it. De Veaux was shot twice in the leg and once in the shoulder. She is recovering from the wounds. Authorities said Buendia fired at least nine times after De Veaux put his 28-year-old girlfriend in her cruiser after arriving at Inwood Park Apartments, 4737 W. Waters. After shooting De Veaux, sheriff's officials say, Buendia barricaded himself in their apartment for five hours before deputies filled it with chemicals and broke in. Deputies originally charged Buendia with attempted second-degree murder and he was granted a $65,000 bail. But irate sheriff's deputies called prosecutors later that day objecting. In turn, prosecutors called Hillsborough Circuit Court judges until Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe revoked the set bond in an emergency order. O'Brien objected to the way it was done, especially because the defense was left in the dark. "There is a process in place and that process was not followed," he said. Sinacore admitted as much, but it didn't matter because they were doing it right now. O'Brien said Buendia's family wouldn't have posted bond even if one was set. "His mental health is so severe, he should not be released," he said.

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