Palatka man gets life in prison for murdering girlfriend

Headline Surfer Photo illustration  / Palatka Police are shown at the scene of a May 3, 2016 homicide involving the gunshot slaying of a Palatka woman. The victim was Linnie Drumm and the gunman, Jose Maldonado Sr. who turned himself in to cops three hours later.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

PALATKA, Fla – Jose Maldonado Sr. pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the gunshot killing of his estranged girlfriend and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison earlier on this Friday, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office announced.  In May of 2016, the 49-year-old Palatka man was living apart from his estranged girlfriend, Linnie “Chris” Drumm, in Putnam County.

On the day of the homicide, Drumm was at the Putnam County Health Department waiting for her daughter and granddaughter to return from their appointment when Maldonado approached her vehicle and shot her one time in the head. 

Maldonado turned himself in to Palatka police three hours after the homicide. The gun used in the killing was not recovered.

"Maldonado immediately fled the scene and later called family members to admit what he had done," Bryan L. Shorstein, PIO for State Attorney RJ Larizza told Headline Surfer in an email media alert this afternoon. "Family members of the Defendant brought him to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office where he turned himself in.  The plea in the case followed attempts by defense attorneys to have Maldonado declared insane at the time of the offense and incompetent to proceed."

"Maldonado immediately fled the scene and later called family members to admit what he had done," Bryan L. Shorstein, PIO for State Attorney RJ Larizza told Headline Surfer in an email media alert this afternoon. "Family members of the Defendant brought him to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office where he turned himself in.  The plea in the case followed attempts by defense attorneys to have Maldonado declared insane at the time of the offense and incompetent to proceed."

Chief Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano presided over the case and handed down the sentence, Shorstein said, adding the case was handled by Homicide Unit Prosecutor Jennifer Dunton who had argued for the life sentence.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

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 for a decade now. 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 dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.