Caregiver who allegedly preyed on Villager previously served time after stabbing man

Donna Michele Thomas

A caregiver who allegedly preyed on an 84-year-old widower in The Villages previously served prison time after stabbing a man.

Donna Michele Thomas, 53, continues to be held at the Sumter County Detention Center following her arrest this past Friday on multiple charges of fraud. She was taken into custody at the Villager’s home in the Village of Rio Ponderosa.

Thomas had been arrested in 2012 on a charge of attempted felony murder after police were called to the Mobil service station on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Lady Lake. Upon arrival, Lady Lake police found a man who said he had been stabbed by a “female friend” later determined to be Thomas. The man was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Donna Thomas at the time of her arrest in 2012.

A witness told police that Thomas and the man had been arguing at a home on Longview Avenue in Lady Lake. The man was trying to get to work at the Mobil station. As he attempted to leave, Thomas pushed him back into the residence, punched him and then stabbed him with a knife, according to the arrest report. She removed the knife and attempted to stab him again. The witness took the knife from Thomas, who fled on foot. The stabbing victim made his way to the Mobil station, where law enforcement was summoned.

Thomas, who was already a convicted felon, agreed to a deal in which she entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of felony battery. She was sentenced to 20 months with the Florida Department of Corrections. She was granted credit for 257 days served at the Lake County Jail and was released from prison in 2014. She reportedly met the Villager, who lost his wife in 2013, at a clothing store in Leesburg.

At the time of her sentencing, Thomas was also ordered to pay $6,514 in restitution to the stabbing victim. She failed to make the payments and the case was sent to a collection agency.

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