On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, PCSO Homicide detectives arrested 44-year-old Sherri Gammons of 4880 Hollingsworth Road in Bartow on one count First Degree Murder in the death of her ex-husband, Aundra Gammons.
According to the affidavit,the victim, 56-year-old Aundra Gammons of the aforementioned address, was found by co-workers around 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, laying on the ground outside his residence, deceased. An autopsy was conducted, and his cause of death was ruled gunshot wound; the manner of death was ruled homicide.
Through investigation, detectives determined the victim was at the house with his ex-wife Sherri, with whom he lives, during the evening hours of Tuesday, August 25th. They were witnessed running errands together, and at "In Zone" store in Bartow together from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Aundra was not seen alive again after 7:00 p.m. that evening. According to phone records, Sherri called and texted several people after 9:30 p.m. that evening, including calling her father, Randolph Fugate, to come pick her up from the house.
According to interviews with her acquaintances, Sherri complained that Aundra physically abused her, stated she wanted to move, and made statements such as, "I'll kill him before he kills me" and "I'm not going to take this anymore."
The victim, Aundra Gammons, does not have a criminal history.
The suspect's and victim's adult daughter told detectives that her mother, Sherri, advised that on the night in question, the couple was together alone in the house. Sherri told her daughter that while she (Sherri) was playing video games, Aundra left the residence and never returned. She said that after several hours she went outside and called his name but got no response. She said that she was scared, and called her father, Randolph Fugate, to come pick her up. When Sherri's daughter asked Sherri why she did not report Aundra missing to family members, or contact law enforcement, Sherri could not provide a reason.
Sherri's nephew, John Fugate, was interviewed. He said he witnessed a verbal fight between Sherri and Aundra in July, during which she said, "I should just kill you for the insurance money." In August, Sherri told John that she was concerned about constantly having to hide her "dope" from Aundra and said, "I should just kill him and get it over with."
On August 31, 2015, Sherri called John and asked for his assistance in hiring an attorney to represent her in a civil matter against her daughter, who was listed on her father Aundra's life insurance policy through his employer, Putnam Groves. Sherri told her nephew John, "I'm going to get that money." Sherri's daughter confirmed that after her father was killed, her mother asked her to "split the money" with her.
The following is an excerpt from the probable cause narrative on the affidavit:
Based on these facts, it was determined: By her own admissions, Sherri Gammons had access to a firearm and had the intentions of killing the victim. Also, in the months, weeks, and days leading up to this incident, Sherri Gammons made several statements to multiple people, including her family members, about her desire to "kill" the victim. On July 14, 2015, in the presence of John Fugate, Sherri Gammons told the victim directly that she "should kill him" for insurance money. Then, after the victim's death, Sherri Gammons has made attempts to hire a lawyer to sue her own daughter, Aundrea Ingram, for the insurance money.
Furthermore, on August 25, 2015, Sherri Gammons was at the incident location alone with the victim. At approximately 2138 hours, she started making a barrage of telephone calls to multiple people in an attempt to flee the scene. These calls were not consistent with her normal call routine - being six calls per hour on average - she made twenty-seven calls in one hour and seventeen minutes. In these calls, Sherri Gammons was frantically trying to obtain a way of leaving the incident location. Ultimately, her father, Randolph Fugate, responds to pick her up. She exits the west doorway of the incident location and walks into the west yard, where her father is parked - which is the same, well-lit area in which the victim's body is located. Then, on the morning of August 26, 2015, the victim was found lying deceased in the west yard with a single bullet wound to the chest. His body was cold and stiff, consistent with having been deceased for an extended period of time. And, he was wearing clothing consistent with clothing he was observed wearing by his niece, Dashayla Green, at approximately 1800 hours on August 25, 2015.
On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, PCSO Homicide detectives obtained a warrant for Sherri's arrest and took her into custody without incident. She has been booked into the Polk County Jail for one count First Degree Murder. She has 12 prior arrests in Polk County, including a drug-related arrest the day the investigation began (see below). She will have a first appearance hearing at 1:00 p.m. today, September 3, 2015.
ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE SENT 8/27/2015:
The PCSO Homicide Unit is investigating a homicide in Bartow. Preliminary information so far is as follows:
On Thursday, August 26, 2015, PCSO responded to 4880 Hollingsworth Road in Bartow in reference to an unresponsive male found outside. The victim, 56-year-old Aundra Gammons (DOB 11/20/1958), who lives at that address with his ex-wife, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound, laying in the yard.
An autopsy confirms his cause of death is gunshot wound, the manner of death is homicide. Detectives believe he was killed sometime between 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 25th and 7:20 a.m. on Thursday, August 26th.
Gammons' ex-wife, Sherri Gammons (DOB 11/06/1970) was placed under arrest during the investigation for Possession of Cocaine, Marijuana, and Paraphernalia. She is being held in the Polk County Jail on $2,000 bond.