JURY VERDICT: Winter Haven man guilty of threats to kill his ex, aggravated stalking

Dameon Akins was mad when his girlfriend broke up with him, so he hit her and threatened to kill her.

Dameon Akins, 29, of Winter Haven.

“Death is in the air,” Akins said in messages to the victim. “Wherever I see you, I hope God be with you.”

One of his video messages ended with 29-year-old Akins forming his hands into a gun and motioning as if he was firing shots.

After 30 minutes of deliberation, a jury convicted Akins Aug. 22 of written threats to kill and aggravated stalking. He is facing a minimum of 15 years in prison and will be sentenced Sept. 6.

Assistant State Attorney Aaron Henry walked jurors through the events leading up to Akins’ threats.

On May 12, 2017, the victim attempted to break up with Akins. Upon learning she planned to leave him, the victim testified that Akins battered her by hitting her in the head and clawing at her ears.

The victim asked Akins to leave her alone, but he kept contacting her, threatening to kill her and her family. She initially changed the locks to her home, but after receiving the video where Akins mimicked shooting her, the victim sent her three kids away, her mom moved her business out of the county, and her dad purchased a gun.

When Akins took the stand, he admitted to contacting the victim repeatedly after the victim asked him to stop.

But when Henry asked the defendant why he made videos threatening to kill the victim, Akins said he didn’t.

“I was just saying those things in the video to make myself Facebook famous,” Akins said from the witness stand, claiming it wasn’t a threat to any of the females he was dating.

After Henry replayed the video of Akins’ threats, the defendant conceded it was him in the video saying threatening things and pretending to hold and shoot a gun.

Assistant State Attorney Aaron Henry addresses jurors during closing arguments Aug. 22. Akins is facing up to 15 years in prison and will be sentenced Sept. 6.

During closing arguments, the defense claimed that the victim found out Akins was cheating, so she brought the charges to law enforcement because she was a scorned woman. He added that the threat was “about as credible as a trip to Mars.”

“She found out about the cheating in February, and she stayed,” Henry told jurors. “This is not a trip to Mars. This is about a scorned boyfriend who lived in the same county and made threats to her and her family … (the victim) broke up with him and was then hit by him. The threat was credible.”

Henry reminded jurors that Akins’ own mother testified that he drove a car with a gun and had access to the weapon.

“He (Akins) indicated he had access to it by making a gun gesture in the video … The victim believed the threats were real and had every reason to believe they were real,” Henry said.

“Clearly that’s his face in the video. He said that’s his face,” Henry told the jury in his closing arguments. “You only have one chance to do the right thing. Based on the evidence presented, you should find the defendant guilty of both counts, as charged in the information.”