By PHIL ATTINGER

Staff Writer

SEBRING — An Avon Park man charged last September with felony-level false imprisonment and battery took a plea deal earlier this year to drop the felony charge.

The only remaining charge against Billy Bob Deeson, 24, was battery, for which Circuit Court Judge Peter Estrada sentenced him to time already served in the Highlands County Jail, along with $1,697.64 in fines and costs and requirements to complete an anger management course.

Deeson entered a plea of no contest to the battery charge.

Judgment was handed down on March 25, with the felony false imprisonment charge dropped on April 8.

Additional conditions were that he would have no further violent contact with the victim, 51 years old at the time of the incident.

According to the arrest report, dated Sept. 23, 2018, deputies arrived on the scene to find a woman who was sitting on a couch and moaning in pain.

She said she was at her daughter’s house visiting and holding a newborn baby when an allegedly drunk Deeson entered the residence.

Arrest reports stated that Deeson yelled at the woman, who was holding the newborn, saying he wanted to hold the baby.

The victim, feeling Deeson was too incapacitated to hold the newborn, refused. After more intimidation and against her wishes, she handed the baby over and told Deeson how he should hold the baby, but that only enraged him, reports said.

At that point, Deeson gave the baby to its mother, then yelled at the older woman, dragged her over the floor to the kitchen, and began beating her, reports said.

He then allegedly threw her across the couch into the living room. The victim tried to fight back and broke Deeson’s necklace as she tried to get to the front door, reports said.

However, every time she opened the door, reports said, Deeson kept slamming it shut, preventing her from leaving the house.

Reports said deputies found evidence of bruising on her right arm, and reported said “the left side of her face was swollen and bruised.”

When deputies met Deeson as his house, reports stated that he told them he and the older woman “‘got into it,’ but it was nothing.”

Beyond that, he would not give any other statements to deputies.

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