FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626
Aug. 15, 2017
FOURTH CIRCUIT GRAND JURY INDICTS 5 FOR FIRST-DEGREE MURDER
State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces the return by a grand jury of indictments charging five defendants with First-Degree Murder. The State is seeking the death penalty on two defendants, both of whom are alleged to have murdered elderly family members.
“Elderly victims can be among the most vulnerable in our community and our office will use every legal tool available to pursue justice for these victims,” said Nelson regarding the indictments of Phillip Smith and Scott Rolnick. “These cases are among the most brutal our office has encountered this year.”
On the indictment returns for Jecorian McCray and Dakarai Maxwell, Nelson said, “The murder of a witness is an attack on the criminal justice system itself.”
And on the return for Johnie Miller: “I’m appreciative of the diligent work of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit detectives who never gave up on this case, and their commitment brought the victim’s family answers to long-awaited questions.”
The grand jury returned First-Degree Murder charges for:
• Phillip Smith, SA Case No. 17CF005180AD. According to public documents, Smith murdered his aunt, 74-year-old Janice Fulton, and transported her body to Locust Grove, Ga. Smith was apprehended during a traffic stop with Fulton’s body in the back seat. The State is seeking the death penalty against Smith.
• Scott Rolnick, SA Case No. 17CF039132AD. Rolnick also is charged with Armed Burglary with Assault or Battery, and Grand Theft Auto. According to public documents, Rolnick forced entry into the home of his mother, 76-year-old Mary Anne Rolnick, and murdered her. Rolnick then took her vehicle and was apprehended at a Jacksonville gas station. The State is seeking the death penalty against Rolnick.
• Jecorian McCray, SA Case No. 16CF054982AD. McCray also is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and Tampering with a Witness. According to public documents, an incarcerated McCray orchestrated the murder of Joe Brenton, a witness related to his residential burglary trial.
• Dakarai Maxwell, SA Case No. 16CF054124AD. Maxwell also is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder. Maxwell conspired with Jecorian McCray to murder a witness, Joe Brenton, in McCray’s residential burglary case.
• Johnie Miller, SA Case No. 17CF027481AD. According to public documents, in 1974 Miller attempted to rob the Grand Park Food Store. During the course of the attempted robbery, Miller shot and killed the clerk, Freddie Farah, before fleeing. A cold case for decades, Miller was apprehended in New Orleans, La., this year.
An indictment is simply a charging document alleging that a defendant committed one or more acts in violation of Florida criminal laws. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty.
Download the official release:
SAO4 Release – Smith, Rolnick, McCray, Maxwell, Miller Indictments