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Ocala

30-year-old Ocklawaha woman charged with murdering 85-year-old roommate

Yvonne Lavette Wilkerson

An Ocklawaha woman was arrested Wednesday in the August death of her 85-year-old roommate.

Yvonne Lavette Wilkerson, 30, was charged with second-degree murder without premeditation and violating a pre-trial release on a previous domestic violence charge. She was being held on no bond and is due in court Oct. 13 and Oct. 19 to answer to the charges, jail records show.

Wilkerson is accused of killing Jessie Blanding on Aug. 27. When deputies arrived at Blanding’s residence in the Tall Pines Mobile Home Park, located at 11565 E. Hwy. 25, they found his body and a wooden-handled hammer lying nearby. Deputies noted obvious blunt-force trauma to Blanding’s head and face, a sheriff’s office report states.

A sheriff’s detective determined that Wilkerson had been living with the victim and he had not been seen for a couple of days. Wilkerson was later located and arrested on another warrant. While already in custody at the Marion County Jail, she was interviewed about the murder and “recalled hitting the victim” at least three times. Wilkerson also allegedly told the detective that Blanding didn’t fight back and “she did not know why she could not stop herself from striking him,” the report states.

Based on the statements made by Wilkerson, witness statements and evidence located at the crime scene, the detective arrested Wilkerson and charged her with the murder.

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