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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Dunnellon landlord accused of breaking into tenant’s home, stealing over $2,000 in items

A 48-year-old landlord accused of breaking into a tenant’s home and stealing over $2,000 worth of items is facing additional felony charges after she allegedly asked a child to pull meth from her pocket while she was being arrested.

On Friday, March 22, two Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call regarding a residential burglary. When the deputies arrived, they made contact with the female tenant/victim who advised that her home had recently been broken into.

According to the arrest report, the victim told the deputies that she was in the process of being evicted and had been staying with a friend nearby. She stated that her home was “intact” when she left it on Wednesday, March 20, and she noticed that the front door was open when she returned at around 2:20 p.m. on Friday, March 22.

The report stated that the front door’s lock was broken.

In addition, the victim advised that multiple items were missing from the home, including approximately $300 worth of dishes, a $500 “duck set”, a $150 car stereo and the following additional items:

  • Three speakers ($370 value)
  • Antique lamp ($300 value)
  • Clothing ($300 value)
  • Jewelry box ($300 value)
  • Television ($50 value)

When the victim returned to her home on Friday, she stated that a “writ of possession” was posted on the wall near the damaged door. One of the deputies noted in the report that the writ of possession had not been served by MCSO, and it was believed to have been posted by the victim’s landlord, Asherlee Jeannette Armstrong.

Asherlee Jeannette Armstrong
Asherlee Jeannette Armstrong, 48, of Dunnellon

The deputy further noted that Armstrong had “ongoing issues” with the victim because she wanted the property in question to be vacated.

The deputies made contact with Armstrong, and she admitted to being at the victim’s residence on Friday morning to post the writ of possession. Armstrong stated that she had hoped to “recover the victim’s residence without service by the sheriff’s office,” according to the report.

After being read her Miranda rights, Armstrong advised that she entered the victim’s garage without permission and “removed multiple items” from the area. She claimed that those items were “trash,” but the report stated that she refused to elaborate on the items that were taken.

Armstrong was placed under arrest. Prior to a pat-down search, she allegedly instructed a nearby child to reach into her pocket to remove everything inside it. The child proceeded to remove a piece of folded tinfoil containing a white crystalized substance from Armstrong’s right pocket, according to the report.

The deputy noted that this substance weighed less than two grams and later field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the report. Armstrong claimed that she was unaware that the meth was in her pocket.

Armstrong was transported to Marion County Jail, where she is currently being held on a $17,000 bond. She is being charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft over $750 but less than $5,000, tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, cruelty toward a child, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, according to jail records.