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Thursday, October 28, 2021

New details emerge about night woman suffered deadly fall from golf cart in The Villages

Timothy Jacob Foxworth

New details have emerged about the night a woman visiting her parents suffered a deadly fall from a golf cart in The Villages.

Judge William Hallman III has ruled against a motion to suppress evidence in the case involving 38-year-old Timothy Jacob Foxworth in the death of 51-year-old Shelly Osterhout of Fort Myers. Foxworth’s attorney had argued that police had no reason to stop the golf cart Foxworth was driving July 16, 2017. Osterhout fell from Foxworth’s parents’ golf cart after he made an abrupt U-turn. Foxworth told police he “panicked,” dragged her body into a flower bed and drove away. She later died at Ocala Regional Medical Center.

The pair met that night at City Fire at Brownwood. Both were in The Villages visiting their parents.

“Witnesses observed a white male dragging an unconscious and bloody woman from a golf cart on the roadway in the early morning. He denied an offer of help from the witnesses and left the woman in the median,” Hallman wrote in his order denying the motion.

Witnesses described to police the driver of the golf cart, which they said had “neon lighting” on the side. They told police the man “just drove off.” They pointed police in the direction he had been heading. When a police officer stopped Foxworth he asked, “Is she OK?” He had blood on his shirt.

At issue was whether the police officer had “reasonable suspicion” that justified stopping the golf cart. 

Foxworth’s attorney, Michael Snure, had argued that the police officer who found Foxworth never testified he believed a crime had been committed.

“He only went in search of a golf that matched a description,” Snure said.

In a Feb. 18 deposition, the officer, now a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy, testified that that he pulled over Foxworth’s golf cart, handcuffed him and put him in the backseat of his patrol car. But after about 10 minutes, Foxworth was unhandcuffed and “invited” to the Wildwood Police Department. At the police station, Foxworth offered damning statements, including describing Osterhout’s body as “dead weight” when he dragged it into the flower bed. He gave details about a night of drinking with his father, who Foxworth drove back to the Village of Gilchrist before returning in the golf cart to City Fire to rendezvous with Osterhout.

“Instead of calling 911 or calling the police or calling the fire department or something I panicked because I’d been drinking and I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I got into my golf cart and I left,” Foxworth told police. 

Shelly Osterhout

Two people who came upon Osterhout’s body also testified Feb. 18 in depositions.

“No one testified that they ever saw the golf cart in motion before it left the scene. No one testified that they saw how the woman came to be in the roadway. All that was reported is that Mr. Foxworth was dragging, pulling or assisting her out of the roadway to a grassy strip of median,” Snure wrote in the motion.

In denying the motion, Judge Hallman ruled the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the golf cart “to investigate possible criminal behavior.”

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