Polk Sheriff Judd announces arrests in bullying case - WSPA.com

Polk Sheriff Judd announces arrests in bullying case

Posted: Updated:
Photo of the message board Photo of the message board
Katelyn Roman Katelyn Roman
Guadalupe Shaw Guadalupe Shaw
Tricia Norman, mother of Rebecca Sedwick Tricia Norman, mother of Rebecca Sedwick
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced Tuesday the arrests of two girls in connection with the death investigation of the Polk teenager Rebecca Sedwick.

Detectives said Rebecca Ann Sedwick took her own life after being bullied online.

Related story:  Polk cyberbullying victim to be laid to rest


According to PCSO, Katelyn Roman, 12, and Guadalupe Shaw, 14,
were arrested and charged with felony aggravated stalking.

"This all started, apparently, as a result of Guadalupe's current boyfriend, who was Rebecca's former boyfriend," explained Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Deputies said, all three girls went to Crystal Lake Middle School.
According to the PCSO, the girls threatened Rebecca through name-calling, intimidation, threats to beat her up and a fight. Guadalupe bullied others to stop them from being friends with Rebecca.

According to PCSO,
Guadalupe Shaw sent messages to Rebecca telling her to drink bleach and die, that she was ugly and she should kill herself.

Judd said this investigation is ongoing, but a post Shaw made on Facebook over the weekend necessitated a swift arrest. He said she posted under the name Guadalupe Borgen, and admitted to bullying Rebecca, also adding that she didn't care that the 12-year-old died.

"We can't leave her out there," said Judd, referring to Shaw. "Who else is she going to torment? Who else is she going to harass?"

Katelyn Roman said she was sorry for bullying Rebecca, according to PCSO. The two used to be friends before Guadalupe Shaw convinced Katelyn to stop.

Judd pointed his finger squarely back at Roman and Shaw's parents. He said the parents of both girls refused to bring them in for questioning. He added that, even after talking to authorities, Shaw's parents continued to allow her to post on social media websites.

"Watch what your children do online," he said. "Pay attention. Quit being their best friend and be their best parent."

Rebecca Sedwick's family moved away from Lakeland after her suicide. Her mother held a press conference following the arrests from her new home in Pasco County. She called the arrests bittersweet, but said there is some relief the girls are being held accountable.

"I can't say I want these girls to spend the rest of their lives in jail, or anytime in jail, but they do need serious rehabilitation," said Tricia Norman.

Norman said Rebecca would have turned 13 on Saturday, and an arrest is an appropriate present.

"She should be here," she said through tears, "She should be here to see justice getting served."

Norman regrets that her daughter's reports of bullying were not heard earlier. She said the school was notified numerous times, and the family made a police report once.

"Becca was told numerous times she needed to adapt to her surroundings. She needed to develop a thicker skin. She just needed to ignore them," Norman said.

Authorities arrested the girls Monday. They appeared before a judge Tuesday afternoon. Shaw is still in juvenile custody. Roman was released to her parents and is on home detention because of her remorse and cooperation. She is not allowed to attend school.

Related story: Online bullies create 'hateful' Facebook page

 A man who answered the phone at the 14-year-old's Lakeland home said he was her father and told The Associated Press "none of it's true."   

"My daughter's a good girl and I'm 100 percent sure that whatever they're saying about my daughter is not true," he said.

A message left at the 12-year-old girl's home was not immediately returned.

  NOTE: wfla.com has made the decision to name the girls arrested in this case.  We generally don't name juveniles charged with crimes but in this case, WFLA management has decided to name them based on the nature of the crime and the fact that the juveniles were charged with a felony.   

Stay with
WFLA.com for more on this developing story.

Related Content: Bullying Resources and Experts
 

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk

 










  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:55:30 GMT
    Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • 'Selfies' not welcome at USF graduation ceremony

    'Selfies' not welcome at USF graduation ceremony

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:35:56 GMT
    University of South Florida Student Affairs office announced Wednesday that students should refrain from taking selfies while on stage during the university's graduation ceremony this spring.
    University of South Florida Student Affairs office announced Wednesday that students should refrain from taking selfies while on stage during the university's graduation ceremony this spring.
  • Arcadia burned dog 'Hope' is 90% healed from burns

    Arcadia burned dog 'Hope' is 90% healed from burns

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:27:12 GMT
    Hope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photoHope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photo
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
  • FM vows response if Russians attacked in Ukraine

    FM vows response if Russians attacked in Ukraine

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:05:28 GMT
    Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine say they are holding an American journalist captive.
    Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday promised a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine - a vow that came after Ukraine announced a renewal of its "anti-terror" campaign against those...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Swinney Responds To Group Over Faith

    Swinney Responds To Group Over Faith

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:01:32 GMT
    "I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths," wrote Swinney. "Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program.""I have recruited and coached players of many different faiths," wrote Swinney. "Players of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program."
    Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney says players "of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program." Swinney issued a written response after a group recently accused his program of violating players' constitutional rights by promoting Christianity.
    Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney says players "of any faith or no faith at all are welcome in our program." Swinney issued a written response after a group recently accused his program of violating players' constitutional rights by promoting Christianity.
  • Update: No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    Update: No Suspension For Simpsonville Mayor Eichor Until May

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:00:38 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The indictment against Eichor won't be presented to a grand jury until May.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor won't be suspended from office by Governor Haley until at least next month. The indictment against Eichor won't be presented to a grand jury until May.
  • Greenville Couple Wins $200K, Won't Tell Their Kids

    Greenville Couple Wins $200K, Won't Tell Their Kids

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:48:13 GMT
    The couple got the  $10 Maximum Money game ticket at GT Express Mart on White Horse Road.The couple got the $10 Maximum Money game ticket at GT Express Mart on White Horse Road.
    A husband and wife in Greenville are both taking credit for a winning $200,000 lottery ticket. And they say they won't tell their kids.
    A husband and wife in Greenville are both taking credit for a winning $200,000 lottery ticket. And they say they won't tell their kids.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.