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Jul 18, 2023

State corrections officer arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office following shooting incident

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people as a result of a shooting incident that occurred in Winter Haven on Monday afternoon. There were no injuries in the shooting.

PCSO detectives arrested 31-year old Derick Wilkerson of Orlando and his friend, 38-year old Stacy Newton of Winter Haven. Ms. Newton is employed by Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City.

The shooting occurred on Monday afternoon at around 2:25 pm, on State Road 540 West, near Bradbury Road in Winter Haven.

The victim and the two suspects are all known to each other.

According to the victim, he was returning home when he saw Derick Wilkerson leaving his neighborhood, so he pulled up to Wilkerson’s vehicle to make contact with him. 

As the victim got out of his vehicle, Wilkerson got out of his and was holding a firearm and pointed it at the victim and threatened to kill him. The victim turned to go back to his vehicle, but Wilkerson followed him. 

The victim asked Wilkerson if he was going to shoot him, and Wilkerson raised the gun slightly over the victim’s head and fired one shot in the air. Wilkerson turned and walked back to his vehicle.

Stacy Newton arrived at that time and told Wilkerson to leave. She then picked up the spent bullet casing, put it in her pocket, and left the area.

A witness who was at a residence nearby corroborated the victim’s story, and security video from a residence also showed the crime as the victim described.

During an interview with the detective, both Wilkerson and Newton provided full confessions.

“We are always going to hold public servants to a higher standard, and accountable if they should break any laws. A corrections officer should know better than to associate with someone with such a violent history; it will eventually get you into trouble, and in this case it did.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff. 

Derick Wilkerson was charged with: Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon without Intent to Kill (F3), Driving While License Suspended/Revoked-Habitual Offender (F3), Improper Exhibit of a Firearm (M1), Discharging a Firearm in Public (M1), and Culpable Negligence (M2). 

Wilkerson’s prior criminal history includes arrests for: Battery by Strangulation, Battery, Dating Violence, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and Habitual Offender Status for DWLSR.

Stacy Newton was charged with: Tampering with Evidence (F3).

***Any inquiries regarding Ms. Newton's employment status should be directed to the Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City.