A former sheriff’s office employee arrested in January 2017 by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on a series of charges including Attempted Murder has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Detectives arrested 47-year-old Frankie Eugene Bybee after discovering he initiated a relationship with an elderly woman for both his personal and financial gain. Bybee used the victim’s bank accounts to make several cash withdrawals and her checkbook to author several fraudulent checks addressed to he and his children. On January 12, deputies were called to the victim’s home where, through investigation, they learned Bybee tried to kill her and make it appear to be a suicide. Following a two-week jury trial, on October 6, Bybee was found guilty on 12 charges including Kidnapping, Exploitation of the Elderly and Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification.
In a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon, Charlotte Circuit Court Judge Donald Mason sentenced Bybee to a total of 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation.
“Judge Mason did an outstanding job today explaining his decision and the seriousness of Bybee’s crimes,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Wearing a uniform and having a badge is cherished. If you take it lightly and exploit it, you deserve to be taken to state prison. I agree wholeheartedly with the judge’s decision and I am relieved that Frankie Bybee will no longer be able to victimize another person in our community. I would like to give credit to the detectives who worked tirelessly on this investigation and held one of their own accountable, as well as the State Attorney’s Office who prosecuted this case with a true commitment to justice.”