Jacksonville Beach has a bar district that is very popular day and night. During the day, you will see people breaking local laws. You may see people drinking alcohol on the beach or violating open container laws. Jacksonville Beach Police often arrest people for Jacksonville driving under the influence. Since this is a bar scene, there may also be Jacksonville assault and battery arrests due to fighting.
As a Jacksonville criminal attorney and a resident of the area, I do not believe that Jacksonville Beach is an unsafe place. I like the beaches area better than any area of town. However, I have notice that more news stories seem to be coming out of the area. On my Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer website, I have written a few articles about crimes occurring at the beach. During the holiday season, there was a shooting after an altercation between two roommates. Read Florida Aggravated Assault Charges for Jacksonville Beach Attack. Last October, a teenager was arrested for attempted murder. Read Duval County Juvenile Arrest for Jacksonville Beach Shooting. Last July, Jacksonville juvenile delinquents were arrested for armed robbery. Read Florida Juvenile Arrest for Robbery at Jacksonville Beach. Almost a year ago, a man was arrested for Jacksonville aggravated battery at a local golf course. Read Jacksonville Aggravated Battery Charges May Be Dropped.
First Coast News of Jax reported on a crime that occurred over the weekend. “A sexual assault outside a popular Jacksonville Beach bar district sent a woman to the hospital. The victim was allegedly attacked and sexually assaulted in the 100 block of 1st Avenue North at 3:45 a.m. Friday.” She was transported to Shands.
Edward Andrew Marshall-Byrd Jr. was arrested for “sexual battery with great bodily injury and aggravated battery.” Reports claim that he “was located a block away following the attack and was allegedly identified by the victim” and other witnesses. He is 21-years-old and in the Navy. He is in the Duval County Pretrial Detention Facility being held with no bond. I am not sure why he was not given a bond. Although he is accused of a violent felony crime, I have not heard evidence of him being a flight risk. When a Jacksonville criminal lawyer reviews his case and his record, I am sure that he or she will be requesting a monetary bond with special conditions to ensure the victim’s safety.
MacKenzie Worthley is the victim in this case. She spoke to Fox 30 News:
“Jacksonville Beach Police say Marshall-Byrd asked for directions, then hit her and reached down her pants on 1st Avenue North. MacKenzie did not want to go into all the details, but tells Action News she was not going down without a fight.Worthley says a witness, Alfred Gainer, was her saving grace. He heard her screaming for help, and called police. Worthley added ‘I’m really grateful he was in the right place at the right time.’”
When a Jacksonville lawyer is assigned to this case, he or she will be looking for more evidence than eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. The Innocence Project has publish statistics showing how unreliable they may be. Witnesses’ stories may conflict. Both the prosecution and defense will be looking for DNA evidence. Depending on the area in which the battery occurred, there may be surveillance videos from local businesses.