Police arrest woman for killing elderly man with hammer: ‘I couldn’t stop’

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OCKLAWAHA, FL – A woman has been charged in the brutal beating death of an elderly man with a hammer in Ocklawaha, Florida.  The suspect in the case, Yvonne Wilkerson, claimed that she could not stop hitting Jessie Blanding, 85.

On Aug. 27, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the Tall Pines Mobile Home Park after a maintenance man for the trailer park noted that the victim, Jesse Blanding, had not been sitting outside as he normally does.  The worker told responding deputies that he looked through the windows and could see a television on the ground, showing signs of a possible struggle.

Deputies entered the home where they found Blanding, deceased in the kitchen area of the trailer.  Deputies advised that Blanding had apparently been dead for some time as he had already started decaying.

Deputies who inspected the scene noted that there appeared to be several injuries to Blanding’s head which appeared to be caused by blunt injury.  For those of you who do not really know what that entails, it is when some type of blunt object is used to repeatedly injure a person.

During an inspection of the residence, deputies located what appeared to be the murder weapon, a hammer.  Deputies believe this hammer was used to bludgeon Blanding about his face and head.

Detectives began investigating possible suspects and motives and their attention became focused on Yvonne Wilkerson, who had lived with Blanding at some point in time.  Police focused on her in part because she had been arrested twice in the past for physically abusing Blanding.

The first incident in which she was arrested, Wilkerson was alleged to have battered Blanding.  That case was dropped because Blanding refused to pursue the case criminally.

The second case occurred in June of this year, in which Wilkerson allegedly put a knife in between Blanding’s legs and threatened to put the knife up his rectum.  In this case, the victim, Blanding, contacted law enforcement after the incident with Wilkerson.  Once deputies arrived on scene, they found the knife and Wilkerson, but she denied wrongdoing.  The victim told law enforcement that the argument began over him cooking sausage and bothering the suspect while she was on the couch.  This case is still pending in the criminal courts.

Wilkerson was out on bond for the latest charge of victimizing Blanding when the homicide occurred.  She had been ordered by a judge not to threaten or harm Blanding in any way while the court case was working its way through the system.

Wilkerson was wanted on an unrelated warrant, and detectives worked on getting her into custody so they could interview her about the homicide. On August 28th, deputies responded to a gas station on County Road 42 regarding a 2020 Chevy that was at the location.

Once they arrived, they learned from the store employees that a woman, who was later determined to be Wilkerson, was seen there two days prior, and who was acting erratically inside the store.  While speaking with the clerks, Wilkerson motioned to the car, stating that she had rented it and lost the keys.

After police were able to take Wilkerson into custody for the unrelated warrant, they questioned her about the homicide.  She initially denied any involvement in the case, then later, according to police, admitted to the gruesome killing.

Wilkerson allegedly told police that she and Blanding had begun to argue after she went into the residence on the 26th.  During the argument, she alleges that Blanding grabbed hold of her which caused her to strike him with the hammer several times.

Police allege that Wilkerson admitted to hitting Blanding at least three times in the head with a hammer. 

Wilkerson said:

“I didn’t mean to go off on him like that…I don’t know why I couldn’t stop.”

Wilkerson, according to police, alleged that she could not remember the exact details of the homicide because her memory was off because she was drunk and high.  Wilkerson also advised that she suffered from mental health issues and was not currently taking her medication.

Police have not released any possible motive in the case.  Wilkerson was charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Blanding. 

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Here’s another story we brought you on the senseless killing of an 85-year-old Security Guard earlier this year.  Take a look.

CANTON, MS – A fatal shooting of an 85-year-old security guard who was sitting in his car near an apartment complex in Canton took place during the evening of June 14th, according to officials. While the full autopsy report hasn’t been completed, the Madison County coroner says that it was “absolutely a homicide.”

Security guard David Herrin was apparently sitting inside of his vehicle outside of the Canton Estates apartment complex when he was gunned down. Madison County Coroner Alex Breeland revealed that several shots were fired at Herrin, with at least one round causing a fatal wound.

The coroner did not detail where exactly Herrin was shot that caused the fatal wound.

Police were first alerted to the shooting at approximately 11:17 p.m. on June 14th, and Herrin later passed away at Merit Heath Hospital at approximately 12:30 a.m. on the 15th. Breeland did disclose that Herrin had a holster on him, but could not confirm whether he was armed at the time of the shooting.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department is reportedly involved in the investigation, but has not released any details with regard to the status of the investigation or any possible suspects or persons of interest at this time.

This is a developing story. Please follow Law Enforcement Today to get the latest insight as further details are revealed.

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