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The Villages
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Suspect charged with second degree murder in death of Jeremy Yelton

Jeremy Yelton
Jeremy Yelton

A 48-year-old Lady Lake man has been charged with second degree murder in the weekend death of 25-year-old Jeremy Yelton.

Yelton was shot on Griffin View Drive in Lady Lake just before midnight Saturday night after coming into contact with Michael Cates of Lady Lake.

Cates, after learning that his step-daughter had just been battered by Yelton that same night, found him walking along Griffin View Drive, pulled his vehicle over, and confronted him with a baseball bat, according to a statement released Tuesday evening by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Yelton then tackled Cates and a struggle ensued between the two men.  It was during the struggle that Cates used a handgun he was carrying to shoot Yelton, who died at the scene. Cates also suffered a minor gunshot wound during the shooting, the sheriff’s office indicated in its statement.

Michael Cates
Michael Cates

Cates of 6001 Lake Griffin Road has been arrested on charges of second degree Murder and was transported to the Lake County Jail where he was booked on $50,000 bond.

Cates worked for the Fruitland Park Police Department in the 1990s, first as a crossing guard and later as an administrative assistant. He later started his own private detective agency. He also served as a Scout leader for Troop 244 in Lady Lake.

A memorial service for Yelton is set for Saturday at Heritage Community Church in Fruitland Park. His friend Tim Kling has been setting up arrangements for Yelton’s furneral. They were classmates at the Villages Charter School.

“I am happy that someone is behind bars,” Kling said Tuesday night. “It’s a little late for Jeremy.”

Kling added that he has full faith in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

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