Man claims girlfriend killed; really just high on meth

OKEECHOBEE — On Aug. 21, at 12:18 a.m., Maria Rodriguez made a call to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office that a bald, white man with no shirt was chasing another white male, Christopher Kyle Baker, with a knife.

As Deputy Mark Margerum of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene at the 3900 block of Southeast 28th St., he saw a white male with no shirt come running out a yard toward his patrol car. The man had blood on his hands and shorts. The man, later identified as Eric Jaramillo, 41, S.E. 28th St,, allegedly claimed that he had been using methamphetamine when his girlfriend, Adela Leiva, was killed by Rick, Chris, Roman and four unknown black males.

Eric Jaramillo

Eric Jaramillo

According to the report, Jaramillo told Deputy Margerum he was in the bathroom at a residence on S.E. 38th Ave., using meth, when he heard Adela’s voice in the other room. Jaramillo then heard Adela yelling, so he reportedly exited the bathroom and went into the kitchen. Once he was in the kitchen, the report stated, he began eating cake to fool the other people in the house, as he did not know if they had killed his girlfriend. According to the report, Jaramillo then grabbed a knife and stuck it in his waistband.

The unknown people at the house began yelling at him, so he ran past them and exited the front door. Jaramillo then told the deputy that Rick, Chris and the four unknown black males were chasing him with an alleged handgun. He reportedly stated that he tried to jump a fence with the knife in his hand. During this attempt, he cut his right index finger, causing it to bleed, which accounted for the blood on his hands and shorts.

Jaramillo allegedly tried to call 911 but a weird picture showed up on his phone and prevented him from making the call.

He also told the deputy that he had not seen his girlfriend for at least five days because they had reportedly broken up and she had been telling him that she is in Oklahoma. Jaramillo allegedly admitted that he had not seen his girlfriend at the residence on S.E. 38th Ave.; he had only recognized her voice. He claimed that while he was in the bathroom using meth, he had received text messages from five different and unknown numbers. They reportedly were from his girlfriend and she was again telling him that she is in Oklahoma.

Several deputies arrived on the scene and searched the residence and property in the 3000 block of S.E. 38th Ave. However, no one was able to locate anyone matching the description of Adela. The only female on the premises was Maria Rodriguez, who claimed that she did not know Jaramillo at all.

Rodriguez allegedly told deputies that she had been visiting her boyfriend, Christopher Kyle Baker, at the residence on S.E. 38th Ave. when Jaramillo just walked inside. Rodriguez stated that Baker and another male, Jarrod Barkley Butterfield, were out back at the time. Rodriguez reportedly asked Jaramillo what he was doing, and he just stared at her, then grabbed a large kitchen knife. Rodriguez began screaming.

When she began screaming, Baker and Butterfield reportedly entered the residence, and Jaramillo told them he was going to kill them for killing Adela. Baker and Butterfield ran out the front door, and Jaramillo began chasing them through the neighborhood with the knife, according to the report.

At the time Deputy Margerum arrived on the scene, Baker and Butterfield could not be located, and the deputy requested Emergency Medical Services attend to Jaramillo’s injured finger and possibly have him treated for the meth he’d been using.

At 3:51 p.m., dispatch received a 911 call from Rodriguez allegedly stating that Jaramillo was back with another knife and was attempting to break in the front door at the residence on S.E. 38th Ave. Upon arrival, deputies reportedly found Jaramillo standing in front of a blue pickup in the front yard. Drawing his duty pistol, Deputy Margerum reportedly ordered Jaramillo to show him his hand and get onto the ground; Jaramillo refused to get onto the ground. The deputy ordered him to comply several more times, but he continued to refuse, and reportedly, no knife was seen in Jaramillo’s hands. At that point, Deputy Margerum holstered his weapon and threw Jaramillo to the ground.

As the deputy tried to get Jaramillo to give him his hands, Jaramillo reportedly yelled, “They killed my girl and you didn’t do anything!” while trying to pull his hands under his body. At that point, not knowing where the knife in question was, Deputy Margerum continued to order Jaramillo to stop resisting. After Jaramillo refused to comply several more times, Deputy Margerum reportedly punched him with his left hand on the left side of his face twice. Only then, allegedly, did Jaramillo finally quit resisting, and all force ceased. Hand restraints were then placed on him, according to the report.

Jaramillo was arrested for aggravated assault with intent to commit felony and resisting without violence.

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