Polk teacher arrested after jail phone call to defendant

A Bartow Middle School teacher was jailed Wednesday over her phone conversation with an inmate at Polk County Jail.
 
Kelly Ann Karynn, 49, of Lakeland told the inmate she’d looked up pictures online of an assistant state attorney after she’d been scheduled to give deposition, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
 
"If she wants to scare me, I'll start talking about children and how I know she has three children and their ages,” the Sheriff’s Office said Karynn told the inmate.
 
The State Attorney's Office apparently perceived that as a threat, leading it to charge her with corruption by threat against a public official.
 
Karynn made the July 28 call to David Bills, who faces child sexual battery charges. Deputies said Karynn and Bills had a relationship before he was jailed in November 2013 on child sexual battery charges. He was later arrested again for violating conditions of his pre-trial release because he had contact with the victim while out on bond.
 
Karynn, who'd been subpoenaed to give a deposition in Bills' case, told Bills she’d looked up information about Assistant State Attorney Melissa Gravitt, deputies said. Bills told Karynn the prosecutor tried to scare defendants.
 
Bills reminded Karynn their phone call might be recorded.
 
"That's fine!” the Sheriff’s Office said she told Bills. “Hi Melissa, how are you?  I look forward to seeing you on (Aug. 8).  How are the kids?"
 
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Karynn asked the last name of the detective who arrested Bills so she could find information on him.
 
Detectives confiscated her cellphone, computer and unspecific documents of hers Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said. They are doing a forensic analysis on the electronics.
 
The Sheriff’s Office said Karynn has been put on administrative leave from her school, where she teaches seventh grade English.
 
She was held Thursday without bond.
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