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Both shooting suspects in jail

Arrested in Brevard County, they will be brought to Pasco County as soon as possible.

By JAMAL THALJI
Published January 28, 2005


One man was arrested after a stakeout. The other one turned himself in at the jail. Both will be brought back to Pasco County as soon as possible.

WESLEY CHAPEL - It turns out that both suspects wanted in Sunday's shooting in Meadow Pointe were arrested Wednesday.

All it took was a little patience.

Ralph Eugene Governor, 22, was the last to be arrested, turning himself in at the Brevard County jail at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

He did so after a visit to his family by Brevard County sheriff's deputies, authorities said, who told them Governor was wanted on a Pasco County arrest warrant.

Ronald Albert Donovan, 22, his alleged accomplice, was already at the jail. Donovan was the first to be arrested, earlier that afternoon, as was reported in Thursday's Pasco Times.

He was nabbed while taking out the garbage.

A squad of Brevard sheriff's deputies tracked Donovan down to his girlfriend's Rockledge apartment, authorities said, staked out the residence and arrested him when he went outside, garbage in tow.

"He came out to take the trash out," said Brevard County sheriff's Sgt. David Fitch, "and we took him down in the parking lot."

Donovan and Governor are facing charges of armed robbery, accused by authorities of breaking down the door at 29544 Ox-Eye Court in the Pinedale subdivision at midnight Sunday and shooting 21-year-old William Chavis.

Chavis brandished a shotgun at the two men, authorities said, and returned fire, chasing them away and leaving shotgun pellets in a neighbor's house across the street. Authorities say they believe the shootout was drug-related and that Governor and Donovan are high school acquaintances of Chavis.

Chavis was shot in the upper left torso with an SKS assault rifle wielded by Donovan, authorities said, and was reported in stable condition Monday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Since then, no one from the hospital has returned calls from the Times seeking an update on Chavis' condition.

Armed robbery can carry a life sentence. The State Attorney's Office still might file additional charges from the shooting.

Pasco County sheriff's Detective Lisa Mazza traveled to the Brevard County jail to interview Donovan and Governor. Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said his agency will bring the two men back to Pasco County as soon as it can.

"Once it's cleared their court system, arrangements will be made between the Sheriff's Office and Brevard County," Tobin said.

Tobin said the Pasco and Brevard sheriff's offices had been working closely on tracking the suspects, who have criminal records and addresses in Brevard. Fitch said they were alerted by Pasco sheriff's deputies to search for a car the two men might have been driving, but the car wasn't at either man's address: Donovan's in Cocoa or Governor's in Merritt Island.

Then a Brevard sheriff's patrol sergeant called Fitch at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and told him the car had been spotted at what they believed was Donovan's girlfriend's apartment.

Fitch said he learned Donovan was inside, so his four-deputy fugitive unit staked out the apartment complex. They waited about four hours.

"Apparently there was word there was a young child inside the house," Tobin said. "In an effort to prevent any injuries to children who might be inside they waited for (Donovan) to come outside of the house."

That's how it went down, Fitch said, with Donovan taken by surprise about 1 p.m. and not resisting arrest.

Both Donovan and Governor are being held in the Brevard County jail on $100,000 bail. Donovan has an additional $2,000 bail for an aggravated assault charge from that county.

[Last modified January 28, 2005, 00:21:17]


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