Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough deputies: Counselor who shot man in her office had filed false insurance claim

TAMPA — Deputies have arrested the mental health counselor they say shot a 30-year-old man Monday — but on charges unrelated to the shooting.

While investigating the shooting, detectives say they came across evidence that counselor Sarah A. Hughey, 49, and an unnamed witness sold some of her gold jewelry at a flea market. Then, deputies say, she filed a false police report and false insurance claim on the jewelry.

Deputies have previously reported that Hughey shot ex-prison inmate Arthur Cornelius Howard in the shoulder while the two were alone in her office Monday. No one has been charged in the shooting, which is still under investigation.

Authorities have not elaborated on the pair's relationship, though in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Howard's sister described a personal relationship dating back to Howard's release from federal prison in December.

The sister, Delphanie Thompson, said she saw her brother and the counselor together about a dozen times. She said she saw them hold hands and kiss, and the three went to Ybor City and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

On Wednesday, deputies interviewed a witness who, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter, had "been involved in an intimate relationship with Hughey" for about six months."

She declined to name the witness or say if it was Howard.

She said that based on the witness' statements and ensuing investigation, deputies believe that on Sept. 27, Hughey and the witness went to her Apollo Beach house and retrieved several pieces of gold jewelry. Then they drove to the International Flea Market at 11309 Nebraska Ave.

The witness sold the jewelry for $2,900 at the flea market, deputies reported.

Then on Sept. 29, deputies say, Hughey reported that someone had burglarized the canal-front home she shares with her husband, Robert Hughey. She said she had lost nearly $14,000 in items, including several pieces of 22-carat gold jewelry.

The next week, she filed a claim with her insurance company and got $1,925, deputies said.

Hughey was arrested about 3 p.m. Thursday in a traffic stop near Big Bend Road and Interstate 75. She faces charges of insurance fraud and filing a false report to law enforcement.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Hillsborough deputies: Counselor who shot man in her office had filed false insurance claim 10/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 9:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.