• Three who pleaded guilty to slashing veteran's throat sentenced for murder

    By: Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On Tuesday night a judge handed down the sentence for three people who killed a Jacksonville-area veteran.

    Douglas Cercey and Ray Jones were sentenced to life in prison and Jennifer Schulte was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

    The State Attorney's Office said each pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed kidnapping and armed robbery. They each received the maximum penalties in their plea agreements, according to the State Attorney's Office. 


    Cercey and Jones pleaded guilty to kidnapping 86-year-old veteran Melvin Clark, forcing him to withdraw $200 from a bank, then slashing his throat and leaving him to die.

    Jones and Cercy originally pleaded not guilty after their arrests in 2017.

    According to the State Attorney Office's, the two men planned the robbery, and Schulte made the initial contact with Clark. Clark went to meet Schulte when the two men ambushed him, held a fake gun to his head, robbed him, forced him to first drive to an ATM and withdraw money, then drive to a wooded area where they slit his throat and left him.

    The State Attorney's Office said Clark begged for his life before the men slit his throat. A person passing by saw Clark and got help. Clark later died of his injuries. 

    The three suspects were located in Boca Raton after investigators tracked their cell phone usage to a bus station, the State Attorney's Office said.  The State Attorney's Office said the three fled to Boca Raton in Clark's vehicle. 

    The transaction made at the ATM with Clark was caught on surveillance video, according to the State Attorney's Office. 


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