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David Charles Sutton | Oldest inmate, 71

Pasco County jail special report: At 71, oldest inmate complains, 'It's hard being here'

It's a young man's world.

The median age for a man in the Land O'Lakes jail is 30; the most common age is 19.

"It's all young guys in here," said David Charles Sutton. At 71, with a white mustache, he is the Land O'Lakes jail's oldest inmate. "It's very hard being here."

He watches very little TV and prefers to spend the hours in his cell reading Westerns and mysteries. His cell mate is 24 — "he's a good kid," Sutton said.

Sutton is accused of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy. He denies the charge.

Arrested and booked on June 24, Sutton was originally housed with other inmates accused of serious crimes. Three weeks later, he moved to a different unit, where no one asks or knows his charge, and he says he feels much safer.

"Everybody looks down on you if they think you did something like this," he said.

Sutton was hospitalized six years ago for a silent heart attack and still takes medication for high blood pressure. Before his arrest, he lived independently, with his third wife, Bonnie. They have been married 12 years. He calls her twice a day.

"He knows he's innocent," she said. "He just bides his time and keeps to himself."

They moved to Florida 11 years ago from upstate New York. Sutton crisscrossed the country as a truck driver for 38 years. He grew up on a farm outside Ithaca.

He has five children, each in different states. One of them is a state trooper in Vermont.

"He's not too happy about this," Sutton said.

Pasco County jail special report: At 71, oldest inmate complains, 'It's hard being here' 08/08/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:29pm]
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