DOCUMENT: Florida, Crime

Florida Shooter’s Desperate Plea To Judge

Clay Duke feared budget cuts would cost wife job

Clay Duke

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DECEMBER 15--The ex-con who opened fire last night at a Florida school board meeting because his wife had been bounced from a teaching position last year told a judge that he was unemployed, destitute, and wanted to relocate to a “less economically depressed area of the U.S.,” according to court records.

In a March 2009 letter, Clay Duke asked a Bay County judge to relieve him of the monthly responsibility of paying costs associated with his supervision by a state probation officer.

Following his January 2000 conviction for firing a gun at an occupied vehicle, Duke was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by 10 years of probation. The 56-year-old Duke’s probation term began in January 2004 upon his release from prison. Duke is pictured in the mug shot at left.

In his letter last year to Judge Michael Overstreet, Duke claimed to have made only $200 during the prior six months. He noted that his wife had been “bumped down to a teacher’s aid position and with that downgrade came the salary downgrade…and now because of further budget cuts she may get bumped out of the teacher’s-aid position…she may be unemployed too!”

Rebecca Duke lost her teaching job earlier this year.

In February, Overstreet signed an order terminating Duke’s probation after the felon filed a pro se motion stating that he had “no violations and has complied diligently with all probation terms and conditions.”

Probation officials did not offer an opinion on the early termination request, according to a January 2010 court filing that includes a scary synopsis of Duke’s original crime. In October 1999, Duke threatened to kill a Florida woman, and when she attempted to flee, he used a handgun to “shoot out the victim’s rear tire of the vehicle that she was operating.”

Duke, wearing a bulletproof vest, told the woman he had “been watching her for the past six months and was planning to kill her, several other people, then himself,” according to probation officers.

After firing several rounds last night at board members of the Bay District Schools, Duke was felled by shots fired by an ex-cop working as a security guard. Duke then shot himself to death. (3 pages)

Comments (14)

You wackos are making me register an account here just to add some sense to the comments. No felon should be able to posses a gun in any state of this country. However being friends with one I can get a gun from him faster then I could go and get one myself at the gun store (and after hours might I add). I obviously don't agree with this but what can you do to stop people that shouldn't own a gun from having one? Limit the options for those of us that follow the laws? How does gun "control" actually work anyhow? Is it like how we make some drugs illegal yet the last time I checked we have a country of dopeheads. Is it like the age required to smoke because the last time I checked hollywood "children" under the legal age to smoke are found smoking in candid shots. These 'children' are the role models for your children and I don't recall any outrage for such actions. I remember when this event occurred I said i'll wait until I hear his history before I make a comment. And heres his history: felon, known to be unstable, surely either on prescription drugs or should of been on prescription drugs. So what's the lesson learned. We need guns off the shelves? Sure that would be real good to see our police blowing whistles instead of being able to take out the bad guys. Or should only cops have guns? We all know no cops are corrupt.
I don't believe that gun conrol is effective, but I also don't find the idea of everyone toting a gun everywhere is too appealing either. Where do we draw the line? Crime can literally happen anywhere: church, hospitals, schools, etc. Should people be packing at Sunday services? Why not let children be armed to protect themselves from pedophiles and murderers? They are the most vulnerable after all.
this guy was ex-military as close as he was he could have shot everyone but he didnt want to kill anybody he was looking to die that day because he could not handle the pressure of being unemployed. i do not in any way condone what he did he just didnt have the balls to do it at home alone. if that makes any sense to people. theres nothing in this world worth killing yourself for in my eyes. life is hard if it was easy it would suck.
The smart ass liberal got burned by the followup comments. This is a perfect example of how having even one responsible gun owner in a group can save the lives of many from a lunatic. This is also a perfect example of how criminals don't care about gun laws. i.e. these laws mostly restrict law abiding citizens.
This gun loving Liberal is NRA loving, NOT a Conservative jerk-off, (girlfiend jerks-me-off, sometimes, however, I admit) and I walk whenever possible, soooo I don't polute much...uh, what was I trying to be witty about ? Oh, yeah! It was the Idiots finger that did it, NOT the gun.
Tell that to the people under the desk
That it was the idiot and not the gun? A coward dies a thousand deaths...
conservative jerk-off here, you'll never understand because you are a moron, but this guy is an ex-con and I'm sure his gun was not legal nor was it legal for him to have it in the first place. I'm even going to say that he didn't really even care if it wasn't. He would have tried to kill someone with or without a gun. I knife would have been just as effective, or a bat, or even a pen. Common sense would tell you this but not if you are a moron....moron.
How's this for a witty comment: the school board is a gun-free zone, the kind that retards like you lobby for. The shooter was a felon and not allowed to legally possess a firearm, according to laws that retards like you support. And yet all the measures you support accomplished was ensuring that none of the board members were allowed to have a gun to defend themselves, having to rely instead on a security officer that wasn't in the room when the shooter drew his gun. Looks like a *gun control fail* to me, Corky.
I've got a witty comment....the security guard that most likely saved the lives of the board members was carrying concealed. I don't think that they send bailiffs to guard school board meetings. Pretty witty for a "gun toting conservative jerk-off", eh?
what's your point ? you seem really convinced that it's the guns fault , I don't follow your logic here but I'm sure the explanation would be fascinating .
Where are all the NRA loving, gun toting conservative jerk-offs that pollute the site on this one? No witty comments?
I'm not a "conservative jerk-off" nor an NRA member. I don't even own a gun. But my witty comment is this: Because of groups like the NRA, at least 6 people's lives were saved yesterday.
Because of the ease with which a felon can get a gun, this is a story in the first place