St. Johns County deputy arrested on domestic violence charges

A deputy with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office was arrested Thursday night on a battery charge, according to Sheriff’s Office records.


A heavily redacted arrest report said that said Scott O’Connell, 33, hit a woman in the face. The incident, which the report refers to as a domestic battery case, appears to have taken place in his St. Johns County home.

“He’s currently on administrative suspension pending outcome of the internal affairs review,” Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said.

That investigation will determine what disciplinary actions may need to be taken, and the review will likely be finished next week, Mulligan said.

“We handled it like we would handle any incident we go to,” Mulligan said.

O’Connell’s first appearance in court was scheduled for Friday morning, Mulligan said.

The bond amount had been set at $500 and O’Connell was released before 11 a.m., according to jail records.

At the time of his arrest, O’Connell was a patrol deputy. Because he’s a law enforcement officer, his photo and address are not listed.

O’Connell denied hitting the person, according to the report.

Because it’s a domestic case, the sheriff’s office can’t identify the person who filed the report.

O’Connell is the brother of Michelle O’Connell, whose death was the subject of a New York Times investigation.

Michelle O’Connell, 24, was found dead of a gunshot wound in the home of her boyfriend Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Banks on Sept. 2, 2010.

The gun that killed Michelle O’Connell was Banks’ service weapon, and her family has said that she wouldn’t have harmed herself. Banks, who placed the 911 call the night she died saying that she shot herself, maintains his innocence.

The case has since been reviewed by multiple medical examiners and remains classified as a suicide, and at least two special prosecutors have looked at it and found there is not enough evidence to bring charges against Banks.

When it was announced several years ago that no charges would be filed, Scott O’Connell reacted with anger toward Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Rusty Rodgers and State Attorney Brad King of the 5th Judicial District. Scott O’Connell was fired from the Sheriff’s Office; he was later rehired.