Lake Mary man jailed on aggravated battery charge after Deltona victim tells deputies he was stabbed over a drug debt

Nicholas LeachCourtesy photo / Nicholas Leach, 31, of Lake Mary, is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on a felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after his arrest Saturday in an alleged stabbing of a Deltona man over a drug debt.

DELTONA -- Nicholas Leach of Lake Mary drove to Deltona to collect on a drug debt, but after he allegedly stabbed the victim several times earlier today, he was arrested and transported to jail, Volusia County authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies were called out early Saturday morning to investigate the stabbing of a Deltona man who said he was attacked by a stranger trying to force his way into the victim's home, agency spokesman Gary Davidson said, adding it took some doing, but Sheriff's investigators uncovered the real story.

"The victim argued with another man and his girlfriend over a drug debt, got cut with a knife when the fight turned physical and then tried to cover up for his attacker by staging the scene to look like he had been stabbed by an unknown intruder," Davidson said. "When the investigation was over, 31-year-old Nicholas Leach of Lake Mary was taken to jail on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The victim, 29-year-old Daniel Monahan, received a helicopter airlift to the hospital for treatment of three stab wounds."

Deputies were dispatched to 577 Nardello Drive after receiving a 911 call about the stabbing at 5:28 a.m. When deputies arrived, they found Monahan bleeding heavily from two stab wounds to his left thigh and a third one near his shoulder blade, Davidson said.

Monahan told deputies that he had heard a noise that sounded like someone was trying to get in through the rear of the house. When he went outside to check it out, Monahan said he got stabbed by a man he confronted in the back porch. A couple -- Leach and his girlfriend -- that was also there told a similar story to deputies, the Sheriff's spokesman said.

"However, Sheriff's investigators quickly discovered that the crime scene didn't seem to correspond with the story they were being told," Davidson said. "For starters, they found bloody shoe prints that seemed to match Leach's shoes. And Leach also was sporting fresh abrasions on his knuckles, as if he had been in a fight. Eventually, Sheriff's investigators broke down the phony story about an armed intruder. Leach and his girlfriend, who used to date the victim, came to Monahan's house to collect on a drug debt. But the couple left after an argument broke out amongst the three of them."

Davidson continued, "Sometime later, Leach and his girlfriend returned. Monahan came out the back door, the argument continued and he and Leach started fighting. Leach then pulled out a knife and stabbed Monahan. Afterwards, the three concocted the story about an armed intruder before calling authorities."

The knife was recovered from a closet in the victim's bedroom, stashed inside a pile of clothes. The victim's wounds were closed with staples at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

The knife was recovered from a closet in the victim's bedroom, stashed inside a pile of clothes. The victim's wounds were closed with staples at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Leach was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach at 3:15 p.m., where he was being held on $50,000 bond on the aggravated battery charge. He also had an open warrant for failing to show up in court last month to be arraigned on a charge of driving with an expired license. The warrant carries a $250 bond.

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Wendel Bradford

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.