Former Sarasota deputy found not guilty of attempted murder, guilty of kidnapping

Found guilty on other charges
Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 06, 2017

Former Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy Frank Bybee has been found not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of other charges including kidnapping.


The trial for Frank Bybee, a former Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy accused of attempted murder, is now in the hands of the jury.

Jury selection for Bybee's trial took place on Monday, September 25. The jury consists of six people - four women and two men.

Bybee was first arrested and charged in January 2017. Investigators say Bybee broke into the house of 79-year-old Marcia Sohl, mounted her and forced prescription medication into her mouth.

"I tried to get away from him and I kept trying to get away from him and kept expecting to see the white light you see when you die," said Sohl.

An investigation suggested Bybee attempted to make Sohl's death look like a suicide. They discovered carbon monoxide in the home after the garage door was left open while a car was left running.

Here's a timeline of events leading from when Bybee met the victim to being charged with an attempt on her life:

  • The relationship originated when Bybee supposedly gained her trust by taking care of her dog, visiting her in the hospital, and introducing her to his kids. 
  • On December 20, 2016, he was reportedly paid to take care of the victim's dog while she was in the hospital. Instead, he allegedly kept the money and sold the dog on Craigslist.
  • On January 9, checks from the victim, which had Bybee's fingerprints on them, were made to Bybee without her knowledge. The alleged attempted murder came just three days later. 
  • Bybee is also being charged with forgery, grand theft, burglary of an occupied dwelling, and battery on a person 65+ years of age. 

Another investigation into Bybee also found evidence he may have moonlighted as a prostitute, while on duty. 

Bybee's defense team painted the alleged victim as a someone who is unstable and can't be trusted.