Employee Charged in Connection with Attempted Murder Investigation

                                NEWS RELEASE #: 17-037 - FEBRUARY 9, 2017

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Carson Lee Plank, a sheriff's office employee of just over a year, after she lied to detectives during the criminal investigation surrounding ex-employee Frankie Bybee.

Bybee's actions were first called into question on December 20, 2016, after a 79-year-old Sarasota woman disclosed to deputies that she was being harassed and taken advantage of by Bybee, who was employed as a deputy at the time. During the internal affairs (IA) investigation, on January 12, 2017, the victim contacted law enforcement to report that Bybee unlawfully entered her home, attacked, and tried to kill her. Detectives arrested Bybee on January 23 on several felony charges and subsequently terminated him seven days later, on January 30.

During the investigation, Plank was identified as one of the first deputies on scene at the victim's home on January 12. Plank was interviewed by detectives later that day regarding her response to the incident. During questioning, Plank indicated that she didn't see anything out of the ordinary at the victim's home nor had she been in contact with colleague Frankie Bybee, since he was placed on administrative leave on January 9, 2017.

On January 19, Plank was again interviewed by detectives and disclosed that she was untruthful during her prior interview. Plank admitted to locating and photographing with a cellular phone, a blood droplet with human hair, at the victim's home on January 12. Plank did not submit the photograph as evidence and following the January 12 incident, contacted Bybee to make him aware of the questions detectives asked her related to the attempted murder allegations. Phone records later obtained by detectives confirmed the communication between Plank and Bybee. At the conclusion of the interview on January 19, Plank was placed on administrative leave.

Plank was booked today into the Sarasota County Jail and after her first appearance, released on her own recognizance. She is charged with a single count of Providing False Information to Law Enforcement During an Investigation. Plank's employment status is pending the outcome of the concurrent and ongoing criminal and IA investigations.