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Updated: 14-Year-Old Arrested In Altercation With Security Officer; Pleads No Contest To Manslaughter

Date Added: March 31, 2021 1:12 pm

Andrew Gant
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations


A security guard at a juvenile group home is in critical condition today following a Tuesday night altercation with a 14-year-old male resident. 

The juvenile defendant, Christopher J. Carpenter (DOB 8/27/2006), was taken into custody at Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise late Tuesday and charged with aggravated battery on a uniformed security officer.

Witnesses told responding deputies that the officer was bringing Carpenter back to FUMCH after finding him off campus, and an altercation between Carpenter and the officer broke out in Carpenter’s room. During the altercation, witnesses said Carpenter punched the officer. Afterward, the officer was able to walk out of the room on his own accord.

The officer walked to an adjacent office, where he began showing signs of medical distress about 5 minutes after the altercation, and lost consciousness. His co-workers called 911 to get the security officer medical attention.

The officer, who is 52 years old, was rushed to the hospital and remains under care in critical condition.

Carpenter is in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice with a first appearance before a judge scheduled Thursday morning.

At this time, further medical evaluation is needed to determine whether the security officer’s current condition is attributed to the altercation, or as a result of other medical factors. Updates on the officer’s condition and any other new developments in the case will be provided as they become available.

Update (Saturday, April 3): The security officer who was injured in this incident passed away in the hospital today after he was removed from life support. His name was Michael Ellis, and he was 52 years old. The Sheriff’s Office investigation remains active pending the results of an autopsy, and no further information is available for release at this time. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Update (Wednesday, May 12): The juvenile defendant in this case, Christopher Carpenter, entered a no contest plea to a charge of manslaughter. He has been committed to a juvenile maximum-risk commitment program and is in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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