ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A 7-year-old controversial case involving the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is getting world-wide attention again because of a front-page article in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times.
The newspaper raised pointed questions about Sheriff David Shoar and his office’s handling of the 2010 shooting death investigation of Michelle O’Connell.
O’Connell’s death was ruled a suicide but her family has always maintained that the death at the home of her boyfriend, a St. Johns County deputy, was a homicide.
Family previously told First Coast News that they believe deputy Jeremy Banks pulled the trigger on the gun that killed O'Connell.
Banks has maintained his innocence from the beginning and is still employed by the sheriff's office.
FCN reached out to the SJCSO for comment on the latest round of publicity on the case. The spokesperson was out-of-state and declined immediate comment.
O'Connell's sister Jennifer Crites sent the following message to FCN:
“The NYT article by Walt Bogdanich stripped the credibility of Sheriff David Shoar. The Sheriff's reckless deceptions warrant a full Dept of Justice investigation. FDLE Agent Rodgers provided a professional, unbiased review of the facts. That can’t be said of the St Johns County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff has been caught running interference, obstructing justice.”