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Pinellas County sheriff: Deputy arrested for making threat over text to kill wife

Marquis Fitzgerald resigned from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in lieu of termination.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested after being accused of sending electronic threats to kill or do bodily harm to his wife.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, 31-year-old Marquis Fitzgerald was placed on administrative leave without pay on May 4 after an investigation began about texts he sent to his wife about infidelity issues.

He reportedly sent his wife photos of shooting target silhouettes with bullet holes in them. The agency says the deputy, who has been working for the county since 2018, insinuated harm toward the person who his wife was apparently having an affair with.

Deputies explain Fitzgerald eventually sent a message to the mother-in-law saying, "Come get your daughter before I kill her." 

The 31-year-old deputy was placed on administrative leave without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation. 

"Fitzgerald's actions did not constitute a crime at that time and there was no probable cause for his arrest," the sheriff's office explains in the release. "Nonetheless, when Fitzgerald was placed on administrative leave for agency policy violations, all of his agency-issued firearms were collected from him, he was required to surrender his agency credentials, and any authority to act as a deputy sheriff was revoked."

While the investigation was ongoing, detectives say they learned that on May 27, Fitzgerald sent a video to his wife that he found on the internet.

The video reportedly showed a man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse in a bedroom when a fully clothed man walked in with a large knife and began stabbing them both. 

"It is believed the man doing the stabbing in the video caught the woman engaged in infidelity with the other male," the agency explains in the release. "The male victim in the video fled, and it is believed from the video that the woman was murdered and died."

After sending the video, the 31-year-old reportedly sent a text reading, "I just wanted you to see what some people do when that happens. There are crazy people in this world." 

Deputies say his wife responded expressing her fear of him. Fitzgerald then told her to delete the video and messages, the sheriff's office explains.

Four days after sending the video, detectives arrested Fitzgerald for the felony offense. He reportedly admitted to sending the video and messages to his wife. 

He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail without incident. While at the jail, the Administrative Investigations Division placed Fitzgerald on notice that he was the subject of an administrative investigation for additional policy violations.

Fitzgerald then resigned from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in lieu of termination. 

The 31-year-old is facing one count of written threats to kill or do bodily harm.

There is an ongoing investigation into the incident.

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