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Man already in jail accused in shooting
Police say he shot the owner of Boyett's Grove attraction twice in the chest in April.
By LOGAN NEILL and JOEL ANDERSON, Times Staff Writer
Published January 23, 2008
SPRING LAKE - With police hard on his heels, Elijah Montgomery ran through an Orlando neighborhood in June, dropping a pistol and his driver's license. When officers finally caught up with him, the evidence he tossed aside helped solve a mystery nearly 70 miles away in rural Hernando County.
Montgomery, a 23-year-old Orlando man with an extensive criminal history, is accused of being one of three robbers who hit the Boyett's Grove and Citrus Attraction on April 25.
Montgomery, police say, is the triggerman who shot owner Jim Oleson twice in the chest with a large-caliber handgun, the same pistol that police picked up on that Orlando street.
With the two assailants still at large, Kathy Oleson was reluctant on Tuesday to relax entirely.
"It's a relief," she said. "I know it's far from over, but it's a start. My husband and I and all of our neighbors can rest easier."
The Olesons' ordeal began when three bandits burst into the attraction at 4355 Spring Lake Highway on a quiet afternoon on April 25. While the two masked men held a customer down and searched the store, the gunman first destroyed the phones and then grabbed Mrs. Oleson by the hair.
Montgomery, police say, dragged Mrs. Oleson around the store demanding money and threatening to kill her. When they stepped into a back room, they came upon Jim Oleson working on a computer. He stood up, and the gunman fired two shots into his chest.
The suspects then fled the store. Jim Oleson, 59, spent several weeks in intensive care.
On July 1, the attraction reopened. Only 10 days before, on June 21, police were booking Montgomery into an Orlando jail after he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman.
Forensic tests by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement matched the pistol to a shell casing recovered by Hernando sheriff's technicians at Boyett's Grove.
In December, the Olesons picked Montgomery out of a lineup at the Orange County jail.
Hernando sheriff's officials announced Tuesday that Montgomery faces five counts, including attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm and two counts of robbery with a firearm.
Montgomery is being held without bail in Orlando. He won't face charges in Hernando until his case in Orange County has been resolved.
Montgomery, who goes by the street name of "Money," has had previous arrests for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, selling cocaine, sexual assault and multiple sex offenses against children.
He faces seven charges stemming from his June 21 arrest including aggravated assault, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, discharging a firearm in public, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed firearm.
Anyone with information regarding this case should call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office at 352 754-6830. Calls can be made anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (866) 990-TIPS (8477). A $1,000 reward has been offered in the case.