Man charged in death of local tattoo artist jailed after bloodied woman calls for help

Dylan Thomas Roberts

A Belleview man awaiting trial in the death of a beloved Fruitland Park tattoo artist is back behind bars in the Marion County Jail.

Dylan Thomas Roberts, 28, was arrested Saturday at his residence on SE 125th Street in the Whispering Oaks Mobile Home Park after a bloodied woman claimed he attacked her and caused a large laceration above her left eye when she was hit by a bathroom door he kicked off its hinges, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report states.

Roberts, formerly of Ocklawaha, had been arrested on Sept. 21, 2018 after striking 38-year-old Jeffrey “Todd” Kimberlin with a 2001 Ford van owned by his employer, Russell’s Aluminum, according to an accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Kimberlin, a well-known tattoo artist in the tri-county area, had been walking his seven-year-old daughter to her bus stop on SE 180th Avenue Road when he was hit. He was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries. Kimberlin’s daughter was not struck and was reportedly uninjured.

In Saturday’s arrest, the woman claimed that she woke up at about 10 a.m. and started arguing with Roberts. She said she attempted to close a door and it caught his foot, so he swung the door open and slapped her across the face with an open hand. She said he later grabbed her and shoved her onto the ground, causing bruises on her thigh and right knee, the report says.

After being hit by the door Roberts later kicked off its hinges, the woman said she went to a local hospital and was told she’d need stitches on the laceration, which would leave permanent scarring. She told deputies that she was afraid to return home because she didn’t know what else might happen, the report says.

Deputies then met with Roberts at his mobile home, where he claimed there was no physical confrontation. When asked about the marks and injuries to the woman, he said she “did the damage to herself” by striking herself in the face with the door as she tried to get into the bathroom. He also claimed that she has “mental issues and doesn’t believe she is of a right state of mind,” the report says.

Roberts was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with felony battery. He was being held on no bond and is due in court Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge.

Jeffrey ‘Todd’ Kimberlin

Roberts, who has been held in the Marion County Jail seven times since May 2010, had been out on bond while awaiting his upcoming trial for Kimberlin’s death. He is facing a charge of driving with license suspended or revoked and causing death or serious bodily injury. Jury selection has been set for Sept. 23 at 8:30 a.m.

Additionally, the two mothers of Timberlin’s three children joined forces in a lawsuit against Roberts and his employer. The women accused Russell’s Aluminum of being “vicariously negligent” and claimed the children lost “parental companionship and protection,” while Kimberlin’s estate “incurred medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of net accumulations and loss of earnings.” A settlement was reached in that case and it was ordered sealed by Judge Edward L. Scott, Marion County Court records show.

Russell’s Aluminum is owned by Joseph Russell and located at 16201 SE 58th Avenue in Summerfield. The women were represented by the law firm of Oldham & Smith in Tavares.