Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Daughter charged with conspiring in her father's robbery

BROOKSVILLE — A volunteer chaplain at the Hernando County jail said that he wants his daughter go to prison after her boyfriend attacked him Sunday on his way to church.

The daughter, Doeminique Renee Sylvester, 28, of Weeki Wachee was charged on Sunday with conspiring to rob her father, Rene Jimenez.

Her boyfriend — Christopher Jay Miser, 26, of Brooksville — hit Jimenez over the head with a BB gun as he left his home in Weeki Wachee to attend church and then preach at the jail, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

A friend of the couple, 37-year-old Jason Salvatore Tortora of Spring Hill was waiting in a car down the road, the Sheriff's Office said.

"I will testify against her in court," said Jimenez, who was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital and released later on Sunday. He was back at work as the owner of Certified Pest Management on Monday despite cuts on the back of his head and stitches on one ear.

"I believe she needs to go away for a long time," he said.

Sylvester has been addicted to pain pills since she was a teenager, Jimenez said. He said the attempted robbery was an attempt to grab cash for drugs.

"I knew they were into drugs," he said. "That seems to be the fashion — pills, pills, pills."

Miser and Tortora agreed to interviews at the Hernando County Detention Center. Both said they regretted the incident.

"I'm sorry," Miser said, crying. "I'm not this kind of person."

Sylvester knew his Sunday morning routine and plotted with Miser and Tortora to attack him, detectives said.

"I always carry a lot of cash, and she knew that," Jimenez said. "I'm old-fashioned. I hate credit cards."

Miser, wearing dark clothes and a bandana over his face, hit Jimenez over the head from behind with a BB gun that looked like a real handgun, the Sheriff's Office said, and then hit him twice more when he was on his knees.

Jimenez described it as a fight for his life.

"I jumped up and faced him," he said. "I didn't know I could move that fast at 65. It was life or death. I consider it attempted murder."

Jimenez said that Miser noticed a neighbor approaching and took off running at that point, jumping into a green Oldsmobile driven by Tortora.

Deputies found the suspects at a friend's house later that morning, the Sheriff's Office said.

All three have previous felony convictions.

Miser was charged with aggravated battery. Both he and Tortora face charges of armed robbery, and all three are charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Programs Deputy Will Ingersoll said Jimenez has delivered sermons Sundays for the past seven years at the jail where his daughter is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Miser's bail at the same jail is set at $110,000, and Tortora's is $100,000.

Ingersoll said that Jimenez has been temporarily suspended until the suspects he knows are gone from the jail.

"It wasn't personal," Ingersoll said. "He's a good man, a good, solid teacher."

Times staff writer Tony Marrero and news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Alison Barnwell can be reached at (352)754-6114 or [email protected]

 
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