Crestview man sentenced to 20 years for attacking man with garden shears

Sierra Rains
Northwest Florida Daily News

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A 29-year-old man who attacked another man with a pair of garden shears has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden announced in a press release Tuesday that John Kyle Botelho of Crestview entered a no contest plea to charges of aggravated battery with great bodily harm, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. 

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A jury trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but Botelho entered his plea minutes before the opening statements. Walton County Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells sentenced Botelho to 20 years in prison. 

John Botelho

The charges stem from a March 31, 2018, attack on a man who was trimming bushes in the front yard of his home on East Mitchell Avenue along Choctawhatchee Bay in Santa Rosa Beach. 

The victim saw Botelho walking down the street and waved to him as he walked by, according to the release. The man reportedly did not know Botelho and assumed he was walking to a nearby park. 

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The victim went back to trimming his bushes, but suddenly noticed Botelho standing over him. Botelho reportedly punched the victim in the nose, kneed him in the chest and then wrestled a pair of garden shears out of his hands. 

According to the release, the shears broke during the fight and Botelho grabbed the part with the cutting blades. He then began beating and stabbing the victim with the shears, knocking out his teeth and causing multiple lacerations to his head that required 20 staples to close. 

Another man who was visiting a friend in the neighborhood heard the commotion and came to the victim’s aid. According to the release, he was able to knock Botelho off the victim and helped the victim to his house. 

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The bystander reportedly saw Botelho strip all his clothes off and wade into the bay, where Walton County sheriff's deputies found him about chest deep in the water. Botelho refused demands for him to return to shore and it took four deputies to retrieve him from the water. 

During his arrest, Botelho reportedly grabbed one deputy and attempted to drag him under the water. He also punched, kicked and grabbed at other deputies, according to the release. 

The investigation and arrest was conducted by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Matthew Richardson prosecuted the case.