Ocala courthouse: Five felony cases resolved with verdicts, pleas, sentences

Five felony cases were recently resolved at the Marion County Judicial Center in Ocala.

State v. Sean P. Fenstemaker

Two months ago, a six-member jury said Sean Patrick Fenstemaker was guilty of 22 counts of possession of child pornography/10 or more images. A charge of possession of cannabis oil was dropped by prosecutors, according to court records.

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Fenstemaker, 36, of Ocala, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Bob Hodges on Nov. 21 to 15 years in prison, with 419 days of credit for time already served at the Marion County Jail, documents show. Hodges presided over the two-day trial.

A picture of Sean Patrick Fenstemaker wearing a black jacket at his trial.
A picture of Sean Patrick Fenstemaker wearing a black jacket at his trial.

When the Ocala man was taken into custody two years ago, law enforcement officials said they found numerous pornographic images of children on his phone.

State v. Dallas Avery Dothard

In 2021, an armed Dallas Avery Dothard ran from Ocala Police Sgt. Richard Tuck at a local apartment complex. Tuck gave Dothard several commands to stop, but he ignored the officer. During the foot chase, Tuck fired a shot at Dothard.

Dothard had not pointed a firearm at the officer, but he did pick up the weapon when it fell while he was running. The sergeant's bullet did not hit the 24-year-old Ocala man.

Dothard eventually pleaded no contest to charges of carrying a concealed firearm and resisting an officer without violence. On Nov. 22, he faced Hodges for sentencing.

An Ocala Police Department officer arrests Dallas Avery Dothard.
An Ocala Police Department officer arrests Dallas Avery Dothard.

Tuck took the witness stand and told the court he thinks Dothard is a dangerous individual. When it was his turn to speak, Dothard said he's not a bad person. He said the only reason he had a gun that day was for protection.

His lawyer, Gregg Brennan, argued his client hasn't been in any trouble since his arrest and therefore should get probation.

Hodges said Dothard posed a danger when he ran. Watching the video of the incident, the judge noted that Dothard didn't try to get rid of the firearm.

Dothard was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and complete community service. He cannot possess any guns.

State v. Fritz Ira McGee

A man who police said was involved in a shooting where two men were injured was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

Fritz Ira McGee was charged with two counts of principal to attempted second-degree murder. McGee entered a no contest plea in Hodges' courtroom on Nov. 21, court records show.

Nearly two years ago, a law enforcement official saw three vehicles and heard gunshots not far from his location. The vehicles sped away in different directions, and the officer followed one of them. The vehicle followed by the officer eventually stopped, and the official noticed two men had been shot.

During their investigation, authorities narrowed the search for the shooter to McGee. McGee was arrested but denied participating in any shooting.

State v. Alonzo Diego Cristobal

Alonzo Diego Cristobal took the witness stand last week and told jurors he did not molest an 8-year-old girl two years ago.

Prosecutors contend that Cristobal did force himself on the child. The jury agreed and said the 23-year-old Ocala man was guilty of sexual battery on a child younger than 12, lewd or lascivious molestation of a child younger than 12, and battery.

Alonzo Diego Cristobal
Alonzo Diego Cristobal

Cristobal, who has been at the county jail since his 2020 arrest, was returned to the lockup after the verdict. Circuit Judge Lisa Herndon ordered a pre-sentence investigation, and Cristobal is expected to be sentenced in January.

State v. Daniel Eugene Trent

A man charged with second-degree murder and animal cruelty was sentenced to 25 years behind bars, followed by 15 years of probation, by Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti. The defendant also must undergo a mental health evaluation.

Prosecutors said Daniel Eugene Trent apologized to the family and told the court that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the crimes.

The victim's family was grateful that the event is over and now they have closure, according to prosecutors.

Trent's case has been ongoing since 2014. Prosecutors said the reason Trent's case took so long was because of his mental state. He had been incarcerated at the jail since his arrest.

Now 47, the Ocala man was taken into custody after he admitted to stabbing his friend, Mark Durham, 56, and Durham's dog to death in an argument about the last can of beer.

Contact Austin L. Miller at austin.miller@starbanner.com or @almillerosb

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Ocala, Florida judges resolve five pending felony cases