Laundry basket-throwing Silver Springs sex offender jailed after melee

Billy Jack Harrington

A registered sex offender is being held in the Marion County Jail on $80,000 bond after he allegedly strangled a woman, threw a laundry basket at two male victims, and prevented them from calling 911 during a melee at his home in Silver Springs.

Billy Jack Harrington, 38, of SE 22nd Lane, was charged with one count of domestic battery by strangulation, two counts of battery second or subsequent offense, and one count of obstructing justice. He was arrested at his home on June 11 – two days after the incident.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded on June 9 to the Pack and Sack store, 18200 E. Hwy. 40, in reference to a battery. The female victim told the deputy that Harrington had strangled her. She said he began acting erratically the previous day and she believed he may be using methamphetamine. She said she tried to make him leave for the night, but he refused, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The female victim said the next day, Harrington became upset for an unknown reason and started breaking things in the home. She said he picked up a laundry basket and threw it at the two male victims, striking one in the arm and the other in the head area. She said she told one of the male victims to call 911, but Harrington grabbed the phone first, the report said.

The female victim said she was trying to gather the other victims to leave the residence when Harrington followed her to the porch and grabbed her by the throat with his hands. She said he squeezed her throat to the point where she couldn’t breathe. She said she was able to pull away, and they fled to the store to call law enforcement, according to the report.

The first male victim said Harrington threatened to punch him and threw a laundry basket at him, striking his right arm and causing a small laceration. He said the basket also struck him in the legs but didn’t leave a mark. The second male victim said he was trying to call 911 when Harrington grabbed the phone from his hands and said, “you’re not calling the cops.” He said the basket struck him in his right arm and forehead but there were no visible injuries. He said when he ran to hide in the closet, he heard the female victim screaming, “get your hands off me,” the report said.

The deputy went to the home to talk to Harrington, but he wasn’t there. The deputy returned to the store, where the female victim was on the phone with Harrington. The female victim said Harrington told her, “I’ll kill myself before I go back to prison,” according to the report.

Marion Jail records show this is Harrington’s 20th arrest since 1999. His adjudication was withheld for lewd or lascivious conduct in 2012, and he was convicted in 2005 and again in 2006 for failing to register as a sex offender. Other charges over the years include domestic battery, battery, tampering with an electronic monitoring device, driving with a suspended license, theft, and fishing without a license.

Harrington’s next appearance in Marion County Court is set for July 16.