Sheriff Grady Judd will brief the media at 10:30 a.m. this morning, Thursday, August 12, 2021, at the PCSO Sheriff’s Operations Center about:
Strapped Towing owners arrested for multiple felonies related to illegal towing of vehicles at mobile home park; One of the owners, Michael Denn, previously charged with 2nd degree murder after shooting a man at his tow yard
On August 11, 2021, PCSO detectives concluded an investigation into illegal towing practices being committed by a Mulberry business, Strapped Towing, specifically within the Stoll Manor Mobile Home Park in Lakeland, and charged the owners, husband and wife Michael and Elissa Denn, with multiple felonies.
Sheriff Judd will also give details about the second degree murder that occurred in May, for which Michael Denn was charged and is still in the Polk County Jail.
Previous Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release On 2nd Degree Murder Case
Lakeland man charged with second degree murder stemming from Mulberry incident
Media Contact: Scott Wilder, Director
Michael Shane Denn II, 29, of Lakeland was arrested early this morning in Mulberry after he shot and killed a man Monday night the 17th during an altercation involving a towed vehicle. Please see the following details in the redacted affidavit:
“On Monday, May 17, 2021 at approximately 1815 hours, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue responded to 1330 Virginia St., Mulberry FL, in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, the victim/decedent REDACTED, was located lying in the front yard of the business, Strapped Transport Towing and Recovery, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. A second victim, REDACTED, was located lying in the front yard of the same business, with apparent injuries from being [struck] by a vehicle. Both victims were transported to Lakeland Regional Health by Polk County Fire Rescue. Medical staff at Lakeland Regional Health declared REDACTED [GUNSHOT VICTIM] (decedent) deceased at 1859 hours. The second victim, REDACTED, is currently being treated at Lakeland Regional Health and is in stable condition.
Investigation revealed the decedent responded to Strapped Transport Towing and Recovery to obtain his vehicle that had been impounded the previous day. While completing the process of retrieving his vehicle, the decedent was advised by staff that he would have to stand by for the tow truck to arrive back at the business to pull his vehicle out of the impound lot. When the owner of the business/suspect, Michael Shane Denn, arrived at the business with the tow truck, he requested the victim wait for his impounded vehicle off of the business property. A verbal dispute then began between the suspect’s REDACTED, REDACTED (victim two), and the decedent. The decedent removed his vehicle [that was driven to the business] from the business property by backing his vehicle into the roadway. Once the decedent was in the roadway, REDACTED approached the decedent’s driver window and began punching the decedent in the face while the decedent was sitting in the driver seat. When the decedent would attempt to exit his vehicle, REDACTED would shut the driver door preventing the decedent from exiting his vehicle and continue punching him. The decedent was able to put his vehicle in gear and drive down the roadway to get away from REDACTED. Once down the road, the decedent turned his vehicle around and accelerated his vehicle towards REDACTED and the suspect who were still standing in the roadway. The decedent struck REDACTED with the right front bumper of his vehicle which caused REDACTED to go airborne and land in the front yard of the business. The decedent then exited his vehicle which was still in the roadway and attempted to run towards the trunk of the vehicle and away from the suspect. As the decedent exited his vehicle and ran away from the suspect, the suspect fired three rounds at the decedent. The third round struck the decedent on the right side of his head, slightly just behind and above the right ear. No exit wound was observed. The decedent immediately fell to the ground.
The location of the casings recovered at the crime scene, the strike mark from a projectile on a residence located behind the decedent’s vehicle, the gunshot entry wound to the right side of the decedent’s head, and the positioning of the decedent’s body suggest the decedent exited his vehicle and was running away from the suspect, not towards the suspect, when the suspect fired his firearm at the decedent. The evidence at the scene suggests the suspect was tracking the decedent and shooting at the decedent as the decedent was attempting to flee the roadway and seek cover from the suspect.
The suspect stated at no time during the incident did he witness the decedent with any weapons. The suspect was unable to advise where the decedent’s hands were when the decedent exited his vehicle and the suspect did not hear the decedent make any threats or statements when he exited his vehicle.
Based on the interview’s and investigation, [it was] determined the suspect committed the criminal offense of 2nd degree murder, when the suspect intentionally discharged a firearm at the victim as the victim ran away, striking the victim in the head, which resulted in the victim deaths.”