Valdosta Daily Times

April 5, 2014

Burglary suspects charged

Teens accused of breaking into Lake Park home

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Warrants have been issued for three individuals in the ransacking of a local minister’s home after the teenagers were arrested for an unrelated burglary and admitted to their involvement in the incident.

Bishop Wade McCrae of Union Cathedral learned last week that his home in the 5500 block of Old Highway 41 South in Lake Park was broken into and vandalized March 22 during what investigators believe was a night of drinking and destruction.

An investigation into the incident led the Lake Park Police Department to arrest a female juvenile Wednesday who reportedly admitted to her involvement with the ransacking of McCrae’s home and a neighboring house. She was charged with two counts of burglary and transferred to the Regional Youth Detention Center Wednesday night but has since been released into her mother’s care, according to Lake Park Police Chief James Breletic.

Breletic and Officer Felicia Pelliteri interviewed three suspects Thursday. Daniel Jason Edington, 17, Triston Jernigan, 17, and Andres Gonzalez, 17, were already incarcerated on unrelated charges from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and reportedly admitted to their involvement with the break-ins during the interview, according to Breletic.

The sheriff’s office had arrested the teenagers at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon after a Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputy noticed three individuals exiting a wooded area near Rolling Drive in Lake Park. The trio fled back into the woods after the deputy stopped and attempted to talk with them. The deputy then called back up to the scene, and the three teenagers were apprehended a short distance away, according to reports.

A canine unit retraced the path the individuals took through the woods and discovered firearms, electronics and other items wrapped in a bed comforter. During the investigation, deputies learned that the items, valued at around $10,000, were taken from a burglary at 4531 Water Oaks Trail, reports stated.

Edington, Jernigan and Gonzalez were arrested, charged with burglary and transferred to the Lowndes County Jail. Sheriff Chris Prine credits the work of Deputies David O’Steen, Dustin Icard and Lartin Lanier for the arrests.

“To make these arrests and recover the property in such a prompt manner is outstanding work,” said Prine.

In addition to the charges from the Rolling Drive break-in, Edington, Jernigan, and Gonzalez have also been charged, along with the the female juvenile, with two counts of burglary for breaking into McCrae’s home and the house next door, reports stated.

 The trio may face charges on additional burglaries, said Lt. Stryde Jones.