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Apr 29, 2022

Lake Wales man arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 2nd Degree Murder and other charges

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man in unincorporated Lake Wales on Thursday, April 28, 2022, for the death of a 52-year old Lake Wales woman.

19-year old Seth Settle of Lake Wales was charged with: 2nd Degree Murder with a Weapon (FL), Tampering with Evidence (F3), Discharging a Firearm in a Residential Area (M1), and Giving False Information During an Investigation (5-counts, M1).

Prior to law enforcement being notified, the victim was transported to a local hospital at about 9:41 a.m. for penetrating injuries to her breast and left armpit. Due to the suspiciousness of the injuries, medical staff contacted law enforcement. 

Deputies simultaneously responded to the hospital and the crime scene which was at a residence near Red Oak Court and Capps Road, east of Lake Wales. Seth Settle and his victim both resided in the same home at this location.

The victim passed away at about 10:26 a.m.

According to the arrest affidavit, Seth Settle told detectives that he had been sitting in his bedroom when the victim told him “Stop smoking in the house,” and she walked out of his room. Settle said he pointed a firearm at the door and the gun went off. He said that he exited his bedroom and found the victim unresponsive so he told another person in the house to call an ambulance, and then left the scene in a car.

Settle lied to detectives five separate times about where he disposed of the firearm. A friend of Settle contacted the Sheriff’s Office and reported that Settle had given him two firearms, and the weapons were recovered by detectives.

“The suspect is trying to play this off as an accident, but he had a loaded gun and intentionally pointed it at the door where the victim just exited and he fired it. He fled the scene without rendering aid, then he arranged for a friend to dispose of the weapon. These are not the actions of a man who just accidentally killed someone. He knew exactly what he was doing.” Grady Judd, Sheriff.