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Couple Arrested After Domestic Violence Call Reveals Possible Marijuana Grow House

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Bartow, Florida – On 10/20/2016 members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to 4775 80 Foot Road, Bartow in reference to a 911 hang-up. Upon arrival, deputies began walking up to the residence to make contact with the homeowners and observed several subjects congregating in a bedroom on the South side of the residence through a window with the blinds pulled open. Deputies observed several subjects had blood on them and attempted to make contact with the homeowner at the front door. While approaching the front door, deputies made contact with Judy McKay, homeowner, who advised everything was okay. While at the front door, deputies Howard observed what appeared to be blood on the steps leading to the front door and apparent blood smeared on the outside of the residence. Deputies explained they were at the residence and requested permission to enter the residence to ensure the safety of everyone inside. Judy denied consent for the deputy to enter the residence. Based on the fact there were obvious injuries to subjects inside the residence, and there appeared to be a large amount of blood at several locations throughout the residence, the deputy entered the residence based on exigent circumstances.

Immediately upon entering the residence, the deputy advised he could smell the odor of raw cannabis permeating throughout the residence. The deputy made contact with a white male identified as Mark McKay, also homeowner, who was covered in blood. Mark sustained a stab wound to his neck and forehead as a result of the altercation. The deputy observed blood on the floor throughout the residence, blood on the walls, blood in the kitchen sink, and blood in the bathroom sink. Once ensuring the well-being of Mark, the deputy conducted a protective sweep of the residence to ensure there were no other victims inside the residence.

Upon entering a bedroom located on the North side of the residence, deputies allegedly observed several cannabis stalks hanging upside down from a make shift drying line. The cannabis stalks appeared to have come directly from a cannabis plant. The weight of the cannabis allegedly was well over 20 grams which is indicative of the sale of cannabis. Also observed in plain view in the bedroom was a light commonly used for cultivation of cannabis. Additionally, a ballast was observed on the floor in plain view of the bedroom. Also allegedly located within the bedroom was a digital scale, which based on my training and experience I know is indicative of the sale of illegal narcotics. Finally, a piece of paper with names and numbers was located on a dresser in plain view. This paper appeared to be a drug ledger which is common with drug sales.

The residence had a detached shed located in the back yard. The shed was illuminating a large amount of light although it was after 2:00pm. This combined with the fact there was a light, a ballast, and several stalks of a cannabis plant hanging to dry inside the residence was indicative of further cultivation.

Post Miranda, Judy allegedly advised the cannabis inside the residence was being kept because she makes oil with it and gives it to Mark McKay. Judy allegedly advised Mark was injured several months ago and cannabis helps with his pain; therefore, she keeps it around the house and gives it to him when he is in pain. Based on the results of the investigation up to this point, a search warrant was authorized on the residence.

Once the search warrant was signed, it was executed on the residence at 4:29am. After reading the search warrant, a search of the residence was conducted. In the bedroom on the north side of the residence, deputies removed the cannabis which was originally observed drying. Next, they allegedly opened the dresser drawers inside the bedroom and observed two large, glass jars containing a large amount of cannabis. This amount was well over 20 grams. Also located in the room were several lights, ballast, and a light hood.

Next, a search of the shed located in the back yard was conducted. The shed was divided into three different parts, and upon entering the shed, it allegedly became obvious it was being used to cultivate cannabis. Upon entering the first room, room one, deputies allegedly observed 101 cannabis plants in pots being cultivated. Upon entering room two, deputies allegedly observed 168 smaller cannabis plants in pots being cultivated. Upon entering room three, allegedly 225 larger cannabis plants were being cultivated in individual pots. Also located within the shed were 29 light bulbs, eight hoods, and 6 ballasts which are all required for the cultivation of cannabis. The total number of cannabis plants was 494 plants.

Mark McKay & Judy McKay were both arrested and transported to Polk County Jail.

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Previous Release Regarding Domestic Abuse Case Involving Same Individuals:

Bartow, Florida – On 10/19/2016 at approximately 11:26pm Polk County Deputies responded to a home on 80 Foot Road, Bartow, Florida in reference to a 911 call. Upon arrival contact was made with the victim/suspect Judy McKay outside the residence. The other party in this incident was identified as her husband Mark McKay who is also a victim/suspect.

Judy McKay, provided a sworn recorded statement, advising that she and Mark McKay had been drinking alcohol most of the evening. She advised that the Mark McKay fell down the steps of the mobile home due to being drunk. Judy McKay advised she assisted the Mark McKay back into the trailer. She advised that Mark McKay fell down the stairs a second time. Judy McKay advised that once inside the residence the Mark McKay allegedly became violent by hitting her with a closed fist and pushing her against her will. The victim advised when she and the Mark McKay fell down the steps of the residence, the suspect’s arm were flaring and struck her several times. Judy McKay advised the arguing then continued. Judy McKay advised she called her daughter-in-law to come pick her up. Judy McKay advised as she was leaving, the suspect followed her out and fell down the stairs again.

Deputies observed Judy McKay to have abrasions on her face to include bruising around her left eye.

Suspect McKay advised post Miranda he remembers falling down the stairs. He advised he can remember arguing with the victim. He remembers being bit and hit by the victim while they were arguing. The victim and suspect have been married for approximately 16 years. Mark McKay and Judy McKay have lived together for all that time.

Based on deputies investigation it was determined that suspect Mark McKay committed the act of domestic battery when he grabbed, pushed, and struck Judy McKay numerous times against her will. At the time of the arrest it was noted that Mark McKay had several wounds. He had wounds to his neck, head, forehead, and left arm. Mark McKay had a bite mark on his left arm, a puncture wound to his neck approximately two centimeters long, a laceration to the back of his head approximately 10 centimeters long, and a laceration to his forehead approximately two centimeters.Mark McKay was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for his injuries. Mark McKay was later released and transported to Polk County Jail. Mark McKay received a total of 54 stitches.

Based on deputies investigation it was determined that Suspect Judy McKay committed the act of Aggravated Battery Domestic Violence when she bit the victim Mark McKay on his arm causing him to receive a wound that necessitated stitches in order to close it. Judy McKay was arrested and transported to Polk County Jail.

While deputies were investigating this incident they determined that a marijuana grow house may be present and are currently conducting an investigation. Deputies are still at the home investigating.

This is an ongoing story and we will update as soon as possible.

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