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Celebrity Tyler Perry Announces Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Florida Deputy In Connection With Two Men Who Disappeared After Being Taken Into Custody


Florida news headlines have been dominated by the decision made by one celebrity—Tyler Perry—to help file a wrongful death lawsuit against one Florida Deputy reportedly linked to the disappearances of two men who were taken into custody nearly 15 years ago. The case was brought against former Collier County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Calkins, who was the last person to have seen both alive, and is believed to be linked to their deaths.

Calkins arrested each of the men (separately) in 2003 and 2004 in North Naples, Florida for driving without a license and/or for unknown reasons. After they were taken into custody, they were never seen or heard from again. While Calkins was not charged, he was ultimately fired for making disparate statements and being uncooperative. Meanwhile, Perry offered a $100,000 award in 2013 and a $200,000 award this year for any information leading to their locations.

The Law: Wrongful Death & Charging Corrupt Officers

Florida law dictates that anyone who has been “missing” (i.e. absent from the place of last known domicile) for five years is presumed dead. In addition, the law dictates that, when the death of someone is caused by the negligence, breach of contract, or wrongful act of someone else, and the deceased would have been entitled to bring an action to recover damages against that person (had they not died), the person who would have been liable for damages shall still be liable for damages in the event of their death. While the statute of limitations to bring such an action is usually two years from death, there are exceptions for certain circumstances, such as disappearances, whereby the date and circumstances of the death are still unknown.

As a result of the suit filed, Calkins will be subpoenaed and required to give sworn testimony concerning his encounters with the two men, along with any other details relevant to the circumstances of their disappearances. Depending upon information unveiled, detectives should investigate how, specifically, and the suspects’ disappearances were directly related to their arrests. If there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the former deputy, those must be filed by prosecutors. Criminal charges like these can range from second-degree “depraved heart” murder, to manslaughter, to illegal arrest, etc.

Florida Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, and Wrongful Death Attorneys

If you have been arrested/taken into custody under suspicious circumstances, or suspect a wrongful death in association with someone else who has, do not wait and allow yourself to potentially become a victim of corruption. Contact our experienced Florida criminal defense, civil rights and wrongful death attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today to find out about our services.



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