Monday, February 22, 2021
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Ocala

Oft-arrested Silver Springs man accused of threatening and strangling woman

Robert Lee Temple

A Silver Springs man who has been in and out of the Marion County Jail more than a dozen times over the past 20 years was arrested after he reportedly strangled and threatened to kill a woman early Monday.

Robert Lee Temple III, 42, was charged with domestic battery by strangulation. He’s been arrested 17 times since 2000 on a range of charges, including six times for domestic battery. He was most recently charged with domestic battery (second or subsequent offense) in July, according to jail records.

In the latest incident, a Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to a home where the resident said a female was on his couch and said someone was trying to kill her. The woman was later identified as the victim and was carrying a saw that belonged to the resident, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The victim was visibly shaken and sobbing as she spoke with deputies. She had red marks on her left cheek, scratch marks on her right forearm and ligature marks across the front of her throat, the report said.

When asked what happened, the victim said she returned around 2:15 a.m. to the home where she lives with Temple. She said Temple greeted her at the door and told her to go into the bedroom, lay down on the bed and not move. The victim said Temple then entered the bedroom with her laying on the bed and locked the door, according to the report.

The victim said Temple made her lie face down on the floor next to her bed and told her, “this will only take a minute,” that he would “make this as painless as possible,” and “it would be over with shortly.” She said he told her he had her brother at gunpoint and that either he or her would be dying tonight, the report said.

The victim said Temple grabbed a dark-colored belt and choked her with it. She said she was unable to breathe and that he was actively strangling her with it, according to the report.

The victim said she somehow broke away, jumped out of a window, and ran across a field. She said she jumped over several fences and ran to an abandoned house. She said Temple was chasing her and the belt was still around her neck and ringing as she ran, so she threw it into the yard of an abandoned residence so she couldn’t be heard. Asked if she would be able to identify the belt, the victim said it would be difficult because it was dark outside and the belt was around her neck, the report said.

The victim said she ran to the reportee’s house, let herself inside and asked him to call 911 because she was terrified of Temple. Another deputy found a black belt in the yard of an abandoned residence. The deputy said he also saw fresh trails leading across the field, away from the victim’s home, and two rows of fences bent down consistent with someone hopping over them, according to the report.

Another deputy spoke with the victim’s brother and another man at the residence. They said they were roommates with Temple and were sleeping during the entire incident and didn’t hear a thing. The victim’s brother said he was OK and that Temple never had a gun pointed at him and he had no idea what was going on, the report said.

Deputies accompanied the victim back to the residence so she could get some shoes and a jacket. When they got there, they found the door to her bedroom was locked. The victim asked the deputies to breach the door and when they did, they found Temple laying on the bed inside the bedroom, according to the report.

Deputies quickly detained Temple and placed him in the back of the patrol vehicle. After being read his Miranda warning, he said he didn’t touch the victim and had phone footage that could prove it. A deputy looked at Temple’s phone but was told by Maxwell that he didn’t have any footage from inside the bedroom. Temple gave the deputy permission to look at his phone message, which included messages from the victim asking Temple why he kept beating her up and saying she was coming back to the residence, the report said.

Temple was taken to jail, where he released Wednesday on $10,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Feb. 2.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

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