LAKE MARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Casselberry man is accused of trying to get money from the pastor of the Starlight Baptist Church in Winter Springs by threatening the pastor’s family. Lake Mary Police say Anthony Doyle, 29, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of extortion and one count of writing threats to kill or injure.
At a hearing Tuesday afternoon, the public defender argued that investigators didn’t have enough evidence to arrest Doyle. Lake Mary police accuse Doyle of mailing two threatening letters in October — one to himself and one to the pastor. The letter to the pastor told him he should “pay the amount of $15,000… to avoid his family and children from ‘suffering a slow and painful death.’”
The public defender told the judge, there’s nothing in the Lake Mary Police Department arrest report that indicates that the letter said the money should be paid to Doyle. “This is supposed to be an extortion. There’s nobody that ever contacted the victim and [said] pay $15,000 dollars to x or we’re going to hurt your kids,” the attorney said.
According to the police report, handwriting analysts at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement compared a written state that Doyle made to police to the letters he allegedly sent to himself and the pastor and concluded the threats had been written by Doyle.
The judge scheduled another hearing for Wednesday in order to allow the state to present more evidence.
Doyle was being held in the Seminole County jail Tuesday afternoon on $30,000 bond.