LECANTO — Sheriff Jeff Dawsy stood before a bank of TV cameras in a Citrus County Sheriff's Office conference room Thursday and confirmed to reporters what Wendy Moore already knew.
That her daughter, Jamie Seeger — shot to death in her car on July 25 — was a confidential informer who bought drugs on behalf of Dawsy's agency.
Moore and her attorney, Bill Grant, say the 27-year-old was killed because of that work, and that they can prove it. Grant filed a request with the state asking for all criminal cases that listed Seeger as a witness. Officials gave him more than a dozen in which an unnamed female informer bought cocaine for the Sheriff's Office.
Two of the three men now charged with Seeger's murder — Lawrence Vickers and Marrio Williams —were listed as targets of those stings.
At Thursday's press conference, Dawsy insisted that his office had done everything possible to protect Seeger, but Moore said sheriff's investigators knew both men had threatened her daughter several times before she was killed.
The court records also indicate that Vickers, a violent criminal who has served five stints in prison, suspected Seeger was working for law enforcement. Once, he directly asked her if she was an informer. Another time, he refused to sell her drugs because he said he didn't feel comfortable and wanted to be safe.
Despite that, according to the records compiled from the sheriff's own reports, investigators arranged for her to make at least seven more drug buys.
When asked if Seeger's work as an informer led to her death, Dawsy would not comment. Another sheriff's official said detectives had broken off contact with her months before the shooting.
Sheriff's officials say she wasn't working for them the night she was shot while buying drugs.
Grant said he intends to sue Dawsy and the Sheriff's Office for violating Seeger's civil rights and for not adhering to Rachel's Law, a 2009 law named after 23-year-old Rachel Hoffman who was killed during a botched undercover drug buy in Tallahassee. Hoffman was from Clearwater.
Dawsy offered few specifics on Jamie Seeger's case.
"Please respect that it's not like we're trying to avoid the questions," he said, "we just have some guidelines that we're trying to follow."
Along with Vickers and Williams, 30-year-old Curtis Wilson also has been charged with first-degree murder.
All three men have extensive criminal histories.
Vickers, 45, of Crystal River, has been arrested 16 times, dating back to 1987. State records show he has served five stints in prison for armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a law enforcement officer and 20 separate drug crimes.
Williams, 27, of Dunnellon, was first arrested at age 14. His convictions include drug possession, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. Over the last 17 years, Wilson, of St. Petersburg, has been arrested 30 times, primarily on drug charges.
Court records detail the female informer's interactions with Vickers and Williams.
On Feb. 8, she met with three members of the Sheriff's Office to prepare for a buy. They gave her $40 cash and an undercover vehicle. She drove to an intersection near a series of apartments somewhere in Citrus. She saw Williams, whom she knew as "Doo-Doo." She called out to him, but Williams told her to get out of her car. She walked to the sidewalk, handed him the money and took the drugs.
Two days later, she arranged to make another buy on the agency's behalf.
She drove to an apartment complex across from Crystal River High School and approached a unit.
"Caddy," she called out. "I told you that I would be back."
Vickers, who goes by "Cadillac," came to the door. She asked for $60 in crack cocaine.
"Who you with?" he asked.
"I'm by myself," she said.
They chatted, then he passed her the drugs.
Just three days after that, the informer returned to the area where she had purchased drugs from Williams.
There, during a deal with someone else, she ran into Vickers.
He asked from where she had come. Work, she told him.
"Man," he said, "you been f------ around, man."
She asked him what he meant.
"You used to come at night," he said. "Now it's like you coming around strictly during the day. What? You working for them people?"
She denied "messing around." Soon after, the woman bought the drugs and met back with the investigators.
She and Vickers met again in early March when she again returned to the neighborhood to buy drugs for the Sheriff's Office.
Again, he asked her from where she had come. He told her he didn't feel comfortable selling to her and sent her to another dealer.
Vickers and Williams were charged with the drug crimes in May.
Discovery documents in Vickers' case — which explained the informer's involvement in his arrest — were made public on July 16. The records in Williams' case were released on July 20.
Four days later, Seeger was shot to death.
Times researcher Caryn Baird and staff writer Kameel Stanley contributed to this report. Reach John Woodrow Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.