In 2022, Da’Vonta Lernard Edwards, a former felon on parole, spread bouts of terror across Lee County, Florida, by carjacking a vehicle and robbing two convenience stores at gunpoint. This night of terror is one of the two stories covered by the episode titled ‘Catch Me If You Can’ of ‘Real Time Crime.’ It also details the chase that followed and how the police closed in on Edwards. With the help of interviews with the victims and officials involved in the case, the episode provides us with intricate details about the incident and the fate of the criminal.
Who is Da’Vonta Lernard Edwards?
Da’Vonta Lernard Edwards was born into the world on October 26, 1994. After serving his time in prison for vehicular homicide, killing a fetus, driving without a license, battery, and damage to property, he was released from prison sometime in 2021. Despite spending time behind bars, he didn’t seem to learn the lesson as just a couple of months later, on the night of May 10, 2022, he went on a crime spree in Florida’s Lee County.
The 27-year-old showed the first sign of violence of the night at around 11 pm on the 8000 block of Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers. With a stolen gun in his possession, he carjacked a silver Honda Element by threatening the driver. Next, he made a stop at the 7-Eleven convenience store at 1626 Meadow Road in Lehigh Acres. He pulled out his gun there as well and used it to rob the store and took all the cash with him. After that, he jumped back into the stolen vehicle, drove to another 7-Eleven on Gateway Boulevard, and committed another armed robbery there.
The police were notified about Edwards’ crimes right after his first felony of the night, around 11 pm. The officers wasted no time and began chasing the former convict as the analysts from the Real-Time Intelligence Center made the most of the state-of-the-art technology to keep the patrol units up to date with all the necessary information about the crimes. Right after his Gateway Boulevard theft, the police received the location of the stolen vehicle, after which they set up a traffic stop on Daniels Parkway, but to no avail.
When Edwards didn’t stop running away, a pursuit began. While the officers on the ground chased him, the aviation unit monitored the criminal’s movements from above and provided the necessary information to the ground unit. The pursuit led the police to Summerlin Road and University Parkway, where Edwards crashed his stolen car and began running away on foot. Soon, he was apprehended by the officers as they found the firearm he had been using that night, on the ground.
The authorities arrested the 27-year-old criminal and charged him with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, carjacking with a firearm, two counts of robbery with a firearm, fleeing the police with a siren activated, and resisting an officer without violence. Following this violent incident, the sheriff tried to calm the situation down and instill hope for a better future in the citizens. He stated, “This county is filled with great residents, great people, they want and deserve law and order and to be safe, and as sheriff, I’m going to deliver that.”
Where is Da’Vonta Lernard Edwards Now?
Soon after getting indicted, Da’Vonta Lernard Edwards pleaded guilty to all the charges against him and was convicted for the same. Then, after about three months of his arrest, in August 2022, he was sentenced to 25 years in state prison. At present, the 29-year-old convict is serving his sentence in South Bay Correctional Facility at 600 US Highway 27 in South Bay.