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4 Individuals Sentenced from July 2016 Homicide

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Original Information – 07-18-2016

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Hernando County detectives were conducting a homicide investigation in the Richloam Forest in eastern Hernando County.

In the morning hours 07-17-16, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a call from a male who had gone into the Richloam Forest to bury his dog. While proceeding into the forest, the gentleman observed what appeared to be a body, lying on the ground. The gentleman immediately notified authorities then met deputies nearby and directed them to the exact location of the body.

Upon arrival, deputies observed an individual, deceased from obvious signs of homicidal violence.

Detectives and Forensic Specialists immediately began conducting their investigations and processing physical evidence.

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Throughout the day, detectives worked tirelessly in order to obtain the identity of the deceased and to bring those responsible to justice.

UPDATE 5/22/19

Investigation revealed, the victim, identified as Preston Oliver Talley W/M DOB/03-29-1981, had traveled to Ridge Manor in Hernando County, from Gainesville, to meet with a female he met through the dating site, Plenty of Fish. 

Once in Hernando County, Talley met with the female, later identified as Kayla Morrow. The pair traveled to a secluded area in the Richloam Wildlife Management Area off McKinney Sink Road in Webster.

Once in the forest, Morrow, along with three of her friends, robbed Talley, then beat him to death.

As of 05-16-19, all four suspects have been convicted in this case. The convictions are as follows:

• Kayla Ja’Nae Morrow W/F DOB/03-20-1991
o Convicted of Robbery
o Sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections (sentenced in exchange for her cooperation with the case)
• Andrew Christopher Abbott W/M DOB/01-29-1997
o Convicted of 2nd Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Corrections (sentenced in exchange for his cooperation with the case)
• Brandon Joe Harrelson W/M DOB/12-02-1991
o Went to Trial
o Convicted of 1st Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to Life in Prison plus 30 years
• Joshua DeWayne Gardner W/M DOB/03-03-1992
o Went to Trial
o Convicted of 1st Degree Murder and Robbery
o Sentenced to Two Consecutive Life Sentences.

Detectives thanked everyone involved in investigating and prosecuting this case, with a special thanks going out to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Crime Analysis Unit, “who was pivotal in providing crucial information that led to the arrest of the suspects.” 

Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein has over 35 years experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with neurologically impaired adults. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Florida in Speech Pathology. Leslie specializes in caring for individuals who have been effected by multiple medical conditions both acute and degenerative. Populations she cares for includes, but is not limited to, patients suffering from the symptoms of Stroke, Parkinsons, Alzheimers/Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS which can adversely affect communication, cognition and swallow. Many years of experience has provided her with extensive knowledge and skills when developing individualized therapeutic techniques to help these patients return to their prior level of functioning or improving the quality of their life.
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