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Man accused of dumping water on brother’s head to ‘cool him down’ during argument over Key lime pie faces prison time

David Sherman Powelson (Lee County Sheriff's Office)

David Sherman Powelson (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A 64-year-old man in Florida is potentially facing multiple decades in prison as well as thousands of dollars in fines for dumping two glasses of water on his older brother during an argument over some Key lime pie the older man was saving.

David Sherman Powelson was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree felony aggravated battery on a person 65 years of age or older, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Under Florida state law, an individual convicted of a first-degree felony faces up to 30 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, an individual convicted of aggravated battery on a person over 65 is subject to a “minimum term of imprisonment of three years.”

Aggravated battery in Florida is normally a second-degree felony, but state law reclassifies it as a first-degree felony if the victim is over 65.

According to a probable cause affidavit, deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 8:33 p.m. on Feb. 15 responded to a 911 call at a residence located in the county’s West District. The call was regarding a “physical domestic dispute” between Powelson and his brother, whose name was redacted from the affidavit.

A deputy arrived at the residence at approximately 8:45 p.m. and made contact with Powelson’s older brother, referred to in the document as “the victim.”

The victim told the deputy that he had been sitting in his reclining chair in the living room of the house, when he saw that his brother had eaten a piece of Key lime pie that “he was saving.”

“The victim became upset and an argument ensued,” deputies wrote in the affidavit. “While sitting in the chair, David [Powelson] emptied two large glasses of water on the victim. The victim feared [Powelson’s] aggressive behavior would lead to him being physically harmed and or killed.”

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The deputy then spoke with Powelson about what transpired between him and his brother.

According to the document, Powelson told the deputy that his brother had left a piece of Key lime pie in the refrigerator “for several days” without eating the dessert, so Powelson ate it himself. As his brother had said, the two then argued about the pie.

“[Powelson] was near the kitchen and decided to fill up a large glass full of water and dump it on the victim’s head to ‘cool him down,'” the affidavit states. “[Powelson] proceeded to fill up another glass and dumped it on the victim in the living room.”

After speaking to both parties, the responding deputy arrested Powelson and transported him to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Jail where he was booked into detention.

The deputy further noted in the affidavit that the victim “did not suffer any injuries during the altercation” because “only water was thrown on the victim.”

Florida law states that the crime of battery is raised to aggravated battery when an individual committing battery “intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement,” or uses a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime.

The Lee County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime seeking clarification as to how Powelson’s alleged conduct could result in a first-degree felony charge.

Read the affidavit here.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.