Accused shooter of police officer has criminal history, mental health issues

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 6:58 PM Updated:

The father of Wisner Desmaret said that his son was likely off his medication leading up to the shooting of officer Adam Jobbers-Miller.

"I don't think he was taking his medication," John Desmaret said.

Desmaret's father indicated that unless his son is receiving consistent mental health services or is in a treatment facility, he is unlikely to follow the medication guidelines he's given.

"He has to be in a place where somebody [is] looking after him and has his schedule," Desmaret said.

Eddy Regnier is a psychologist in Sarasota and at one point evaluated Desmaret according to court documents, although he did not speak specifically about him to NBC 2. He answered our questions about the criminal justice system and mental health services.

"That person needs companion of services, they need case management, they need a psychiatrist to provide medication," Regnier said.

Desmaret was arrested 11 times total in Lee County including on six different occasions for felonies. However, none of the felonies resulted in convictions. Felony charges in 2015 and 2016 were dismissed because Desmaret was found incompetent by a judge according to the state attorney's office. Four felony cases in 2010 and 2011 were dropped because of a lack of evidence or witness cooperation. One charge of smuggling contraband into a detention facility was not filed because of an "alternative prosecutorial action being taken."

He pleaded no contest to a trespass charge in 2015 and was sentenced to 31 days in jail.

He was last released from a Lee County jail on October 5, 2016, after a misdemeanor arrest for violating an open container ordinance and a judge deemed him incompetent. 

The Sarasota Police Department confirmed they've recorded 15 different interactions with Desmaret from December 2016 through March 2017.

On December 1 Desmaret had his first interaction with the Sarasota Police Department. Desmaret was arrested after someone called police and said he had a knife and was shouting. Police searched him and found more knives and a bag of cocaine.

That cocaine felony charge eventually sent him to the North Florida Treatment Center in Gainesville but not until April.

Before that Desmaret was arrested two more times, once for resisting arrest without violence and once for trespassing.

He had 12 other encounters with police which were mostly warnings for trespassing.

Police noted on a couple of occasions he appeared to have mental health issues including one time Desmaret was Baker Acted after jumping into oncoming traffic and telling a police officer he wanted to die. The police report said, "he wanted officers to take him into the woods and put a bullet in his head."

By April 2017 he was sent to a state facility for treatment. By June 2018 he was transferred back to Sarasota, deemed competent and was ready to stand trial for cocaine possession.

On July 19 a Sarasota judge released Desmaret with the order to take his medication.

"Someone has to be responsible a nurse, a case manager a therapist," Regnier said.

The statements from Regnier are echoed by Desmaret's father

"When he's inside(treatment) and he's taking his medication so he's cool. But when he's outside he doesn't take medication," John Desmaret said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families confirmed Regnier has been forensically committed once at the treatment facility in Gainesville. They could not comment on whether he's been civilly committed in other situations.

Regnier said judges often don't want to release defendants with mental health issues with providing support services but they don't have many options.

"We used to have all those services we don't have them anymore," Regnier said.

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