85. St. Augustine man gets 35 years in prison for scaring elderly woman & her dog with air pistol in robbery attempt

Top 100 Stories of 2013 Daytona Beach-Orlando Metro Area / Headline Surfer®

Dustin Vann of St. Augustine was sentenced in October to 35 years in prison / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® / Dustin Vann, 27, could be locked up until 2047 for a slew of felonies tht he was adjudicated guilty of committing including an armed robbery of an elderly woman after having been released from prison less than foiur months earlier.

ST. AUGUSTINE -- A 27-year-old St. Augustine man was sentenced in October to a total of 35 years in prison for his role in an attempted robbery and related charges involving an elderly woman hat occurred in St. Augustine in 2012.

Assistant State Attorney Chris Ferebee prosecuted Dustin Vann and said that the defendant tried to rob the victim woman when he pulled out an air pistol and threatened to kill her and her dog.

"She was terrified," Ferebee told Headline Surfer® after the sentencing hearing. "This replica firearm shoots plastic pellets, but it is still very realistic."

"She was terrified," Assistant State Attorney Chris Ferebee told Headline Surfer® after the sentencing hearing for Dustin Vann of St. Augustine. "This replica firearm shoots plastic pellets, but it is still very realistic."

The stiff sentence for Vann comes in at No. 85 in the Headline Surfer® countdown of the Top 100 Stories of 2013.

Vann was sentenced on Oct. 1 in a St. Augustine courtroom by Circuit Judge J. Michael Traynor as a habitual felony offender to two terms of 30 years, to be served simultaneously on the attempted robbery and aggravated fleeing counts, second degree felonies, which have their exposure doubled because of the HFO enhanced sentencing law.

Vann was also sentenced as a prison releasee re-offender on the attempted robbery, which gives him 15 years without gain time; meaning his sentence won't be reduced for at least 15 years.

He was then sentenced to five years on a grand theft auto consecutive to the 30-year sentence, resulting in a total of 35 years behind bars.

In all likelihood, Vann will spend close to 30 years behind bars before he's eligible for release under Florida's statutes that require inmates to remain incarcerated for at lest 85 percent of their total sentence.

St. Johns County Sheriff's report on robbery attempt / Headline Surfer®St. Johnns County Sheriff's Office report on attempted robbery / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® graphic / At left is a snapshot of a portion of the criminal charges lodged by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office against Dustin Vann for his role in the attempted robbery of an elderly woman.

Vann qualifies as PRR because he committed the above crimes, after only having been released from prison less than four months prior.

Vann was on probation at the time from carjacking and false imprisonment charges in Broward County when he terrorized his elderly victim.

Vann pleaded pleaded no contest in August to attempted robbery with a weapon, a second degree felony; aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude high speed, both second degree felonies, and to grand theft, a third-degree felony. 

Counting 'em down: Headline Surfer® Ranking of the Top 100 Stories of 2013

Top 100 Stories of 2013 Daytona Beach-Orlando Metro Area / Headline Surfer®


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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.