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Polk County Man Charged With Attempted Murder

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Winter Haven, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an attempted murder case in Winter Haven.

On December 22nd 2017 at approximately 10:27am, a verbal altercation occurred between John Forte (victim) and James Forte (suspect), who are brothers that reside together as a family unit, inside their Winter Haven residence. The residence is a motel style room with two beds and one bathroom.


Below is an excerpt of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit:

During the altercation, James told John “I’ll beat the f*** out of you with my cane”. James then began to strike John multiple times on the head and body.

John was begging James not to hit him anymore and was able to retrieve his cellphone. John attempted to call law enforcement for help. James told John “give me the phone I’m going to kill you”. James then took the cell phone, depriving John of communications to call for help.

During this point of the altercation John was crawling towards the door to trying and leave.

James grabbed a serrated steak knife that was on John’s bed and began stabbing him in the head and neck. John sustained six (6) lacerations on his face and two (2) on his neck. Of the two cuts on his neck one was below his right ear, the other was across the front of his neck close to his tracheal area.

John was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and is currently in stable condition.

Post Miranda, James admitted to the altercation and stated “he’s dead ain’t he” and I advised James no that’s he’s not dead. James replied “Damn”. I asked James why he would say that, he further stated “because he’s supposed to be dead”. I asked James if he wanted him to die and James replied “yes”.

James Forte has multiple arrests and conviction for battery. James was charged with Forte was charged with aggravated battery domestic violence, tampering with a victim (depriving a victim with the use and/or ability to communicate with emergency personnel), and second degree attempted murder.

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