Navarre resident Jason Copeland, 32, was arrested Sept. 10 for obstructing justice, with the intent of intimidating or threatening a witness.
Copeland’s girlfriend Amy Jo Pettigrew, 36, was arrested Sept. 8 for cruelty toward a child.
According to the incident report, Santa Rosa County Deputy Jerry Utsey responded to Military Trail to investigate a grand theft complaint. The owner of the home and his wife had permitted Pettigrew and Copeland to stay in their home after she gave birth to a boy on Sept. 4.
During the investigation, Utsey learned that large quantities of Xanex had been stolen from the homeowner. Pettigrew was charged with cruelty toward a child for breast feeding her child after she had been instructed by her doctor and the deputy not to because of the large amounts of Xanex she had ingested.
The child was removed from the home by the Department of Children and Family services.
After the incident, Copeland made threatening remarks on Facebook and placed threatening phone calls to the home owner and his wife.
The home owner contacted the sheriff’s department to report that Copeland was harassing them and blaming them for Pettigrew’s arrest and for the removal of his child.
Utsey was able to read some of the messages with one stating, “If you cause problems with me and the cops (victim’s name) I’m gonna tell them about you dealing drugs with certain people, so if I were you I would testify on my behalf.”
The message was screen captured and printed. The victim stated she is not dealing drugs and that she felt threatened by Copeland’s actions.
Utsey took the victim’s sworn statement and made contact with Copeland.
According to the report, Utsey asked Copeland about the messages, and Copeland admitted to sending them to the victim; however, he would not give a direct answer as to his intent.
Based on the statements made by Copeland, the victim, and the retrieved messages, Utsey arrested Copeland and booked him on tampering with a witness.
For the complete story, see the Sept. 20 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.