A Villager who volunteered to mentor a local boy has been sentenced in a case after his involvement with the boy’s mother went off track.
Daniel Lee Messerschmidt, 66, a former Village of Poinciana resident now living in the Village of Bonita, pleaded no contest this past week in Marion County Court to charges of burglary and criminal mischief. He has been ordered to seek mental health counseling, placed on probation for three years and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. In addition, Messerschmidt will have to make restitution to the boy’s mother for damage to her property and must stay away from her and her children.
Messerschmidt had gotten involved in the Christian program, Dads for a Day, and began mentoring the Summerfield boy, according to an arrest affidavit from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
After he was introduced to the boy and the boy’s mother, “I decided I would go the distance with them. Withholding nothing, without hesitation or reservation.” In a letter in which he resigned from the Dads for a Day program, he wrote he made a “mistake” when he “committed” to the boy’s mother.
In a subsequent interview with a Marion County sheriff’s deputy, Messerschmidt said he, “became close with her,” but she, “cut if off.”
The woman came home and found clothes had been scattered on the back steps of her residence. Her iMac computer was on the floor of the kitchen with the screen shattered, the arrest report said. Messerschmidt was married at the time, but he and his wife divorced after his arrest.
A neighbor reported seeing a vehicle similar to Messerschmidt’s tan 2015 GMC SUV at the woman’s residence. The neighbor had previously seen Messerschmidt’s vehicle at the home.
While Messerschmidt was free on bond in the case, he crashed the SUV and was arrested on a drunk driving charge. That case is pending in Sumter County Court.