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DELAND MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER IN BRICK BEATING ATTACK
A DeLand man is charged with attempted second-degree murder in the beating of a DeLand-area woman who was taken to an intensive care unit with severe head injuries.
Aaron M. Baxter, 35 (DOB 12/13/1983), was arrested late Sunday in a traffic stop following an investigation into the Friday night attack.
The victim, a 55-year-old woman who lives in a tent behind a residence off Adelle Avenue and Lenox Court in DeLand, was barely responsive and bleeding heavily when a deputy arrived at the scene around 11:15 p.m. Friday. She was rushed to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford with multiple significant head injuries that were believed to be life-threatening. She remained in ICU until Sunday.
As the investigation continued, though, Baxter was identified as a potential suspect. During an interview, he denied any involvement in the beating, but he said he knows the victim, buys pills from her from time to time, and he’d texted her and met with her that day and she seemed fine.
However, a detective noticed a fresh injury covered by a bandage on the bridge of Baxter’s nose. Baxter said he had fallen in the parking lot of a DeLand 7-Eleven and hurt himself. A check of surveillance footage at the 7-Eleven showed Baxter at the store getting napkins for his wound, but there was no video showing him fall, and the employee on duty didn’t witness any fall.
Upon regaining consciousness for her own interview, the victim stated Baxter choked her and beat her in the head with a hammer and a brick. She said he hit her eight or nine times with the brick. At some point during the attack, she was able to strike back once with a flashlight, hitting her attacker in the nose.
A detective went back to Baxter’s home, but Timothy Rivett (DOB 7/24/1983) answered the door and claimed Baxter was at Walmart, and detectives could meet him there. One detective went to Walmart, but one stayed behind and several minutes later, saw Baxter leaving the house with Rivett. The two were pulled over in a traffic stop nearby.
Baxter was taken into custody and charged with attempted second-degree murder, and Rivett was charged with resisting a law enforcement officer without violence. Both are being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail as of Monday afternoon, Baxter with no bond allowed.