Tremaine Jayvon Dennis, 37, is expected to spend the next two years in state prison after pleading no contest to counts of assault battery and weapons charges.
According to records from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office, Clerk of Court and Department of Corrections, on Feb. 26, 2018, the male victim had been riding in his girlfriend’s taxi. The girlfriend/taxi driver was reportedly Dennis’s “baby mama.” They picked up another woman, who was the victim’s former girlfriend. The taxi driver, victim and old girlfriend had reportedly been arguing through text messages earlier in the day.
A witness said Dennis hit his ex-girlfriend and he was forced out of the taxi. As he was getting out, he took one of the women’s cell phone.
The women then picked up Dennis to help get the phone back and went to the gas station in Nocatee where the victim had been seen last.
Witnesses reported seeing the two men fighting and that Dennis had pulled out a gun and shot at the victim, apparently striking him in the back. Dennis then jumped into the taxi with the two women, holding a small gun in his hand, and took off. The victim, who had been wounded, asked someone to call police.
Two days later, a detective got a tip that Dennis was at a motel in Arcadia. He found the car Dennis was said to have been driving, and Dennis was standing next to it. Dennis told the detective he had a glass pipe in his sock that contained a residue which tested positive for methamphetamine.
A small black revolver was spotted inside the car, stuffed inside a shoe. The owner of the car said the shoes belonged to Dennis and gave detectives permission to search the car.
When questioned, Dennis admitted to being with his baby mama in Nocatee to help retrieve the cell phone from the victim. He said she dropped him off where the victim was, and said the two of them got into a fist fight but nothing more happened.
As to the gun, he told detectives he bought it “off the street for protection” and they would find two spent casings in the car, which he claimed had been shot on New Year’s Eve. He said when he was fighting the victim, the gun just fell from his back pocket, and it discharged accidentally when he went to pick it up off the ground.
Dennis was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm, and two counts of possession or use of drug equipment. He was held in the DeSoto County Jail on $169,500 bond.
On. Jan. 15, he was sentenced to three years in state prison, followed by two years of probation, on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transferred to the Department of Corrections on Jan. 30 and is expected to be released on Feb. 26, 2021, after which he will serve two years of drug offender probation.
Previously, he was sentenced to state prison in 2001, in 2008 and again in 2015 on charges of possession, sale and distribution of cocaine.