An 82-year-old Villager is now in state prison after stalking his estranged girlfriend and then trying to hire a hitman to injure her.
Derek Britton, of the Village of Santiago, began earlier this month serving a sentence of two years and 10 months with the Florida Department of Corrections. He is currently housed at the Central Florida Reception Center in Orlando. His scheduled release date is June 10, 2021.
Britton had been arrested this past August after he donned a ski mask and attempted to vandalize the home of his estranged girlfriend in Clermont. She received an alert on her security system and went outside, where she confronted the intruder. They fell to the ground during a struggle, the ski mask came off and she discovered it was Britton.
While the native of Ireland was free on $30,000 bond, he set up a rendezvous with the lady friend of an inmate he had met during his stay at the Lake County Jail. Britton thought he had arranged to give the woman $600 to pay the inmate’s bond. Once released, the inmate was to go and injure Britton’s ex-girlfriend at her home in Clermont. The inmate’s lady friend reached out to law enforcement, leading to the arrest of Britton at the site of their pre-arranged meeting at Cracker Barrel in Leesburg. He was arrested Aug. 29 and booked without bond on a charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated stalking.
His attorney argued that his client was old and frail and should be released. His argument gained no traction with the judge. Britton’s attorney later tried to argue that his client was mentally incompetent to stand trial. The judge was not persuaded.