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Deputies say accused killer John Kalisz had drugs in his Hernando jail cell

BROOKSVILLE — Accused killer John Kalisz faces new felony charges after deputies found 17 prescription pills inside his cell at the Hernando County Detention Center.

A Hernando County Sheriff's Office report said corrections officers discovered six Vistaril capsules, six Fluoxetine capsules and five Risperidone pills wrapped in toilet tissue on top of a table. Kalisz admitted to authorities that the pills belonged to him and that he took them to help him sleep.

Vistaril is an anti-anxiety medicine; Fluoxetine is an anti-depressant; and Risperidone is an anti-psychotic.

Kalisz, 56, said he obtained the pills by trading cookies to another inmate, who is not being named because of medical privacy rules. That inmate has a prescription for the drugs, and authorities said he stored the pills in his mouth and saved them to trade later.

Kalisz, who was hit several times during a shootout with deputies in Dixie County, had been treated for his wounds while in custody. According to the sheriff's office, Kalisz is not kept in the Hernando jail's general population, but he does have contact with other inmates in his pod.

On Jan. 14, 2010, officials say Kalisz went to the Brooksville home of his sister Kathryn Donovan and began firing. Prosecutors say he killed her and her office manager, Deborah Tillotson. He also allegedly shot and wounded his niece, Manessa Donovan, and Amy Wilson, an employee at Donovan's home-based business.

Kalisz told investigators that hatred toward his family and the judicial system fueled his shooting rampage, records show.

After those shootings, Kalisz fled north in a van on U.S. 19. When Dixie County deputies confronted Kalisz at a BP gas station, reports said, he fired a shot out of his driver-side window and hit Capt. Chad Reed, who died later at a hospital. Kalisz was shot at least six times and seriously wounded.

In February, Kalisz pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting of Reed and agreed to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Kalisz is set to face trial in Brooksville on Nov. 7 on charges that he murdered the two Hernando County women and attempted to murder two others. Hernando Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino has said he intends to pursue the death penalty in the case.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or

Deputies say accused killer John Kalisz had drugs in his Hernando jail cell 08/12/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2011 7:09pm]
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