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Woman charged with 2nd-degree murder in Polk County deputy's death

Sheriff Grady Judd said this "tragedy" would never have happened if she had cooperated with deputies.

POLK CITY, Fla. — A woman is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder, in the death of Polk County Deputy Blane Lane.

Cheryl Williams, 46, is facing 13 felony charges related to the 21-year-old deputy's death. Those charges include second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting arrest and meth possession. 

According to the sheriff's office, deputies were serving an arrest warrant early Tuesday morning at a mobile home in Polk City after receiving a tip Williams was there. 

Three of the four deputies went inside the home while Lane decided to take up a tactical position outside where he could see inside but wasn't in view of the front door or windows. 

Sheriff Grady Judd said while Lane was outside, the other deputies approached a "gaming" room and initially didn't see anyone inside. But that was when Williams stepped into view with a gun in her hand pointed at them, according to the sheriff.

Two deputies immediately fired their guns at Williams, striking her at least two times before she went down. While this was happening, Lane was hit outside by one of the bullets fired by deputies inside the home toward Williams. 

Lane was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries, the sheriff's office said. 

Williams was also taken to the hospital for her wounds, where she is said to be "stable." Once she is released from the hospital, she will be taken to jail, the sheriff's office said.

"When deputies arrived at this residence following up on a Crime Stoppers tip that Cheryl Williams was there with an active warrant, they gave her every opportunity to turn herself in," Judd said in a statement. "She made the choice to hide, and then to jump out while pointing a gun at them. Everyone in that house is a convicted felon with a criminal history, but all they had to do was cooperate, and this tragedy would never have occurred. 

Cheryl Williams would have been taken into custody peacefully, and would solely be facing her original failure to appear charge. Now she is responsible for the death of Deputy Lane, a young man who had his entire life ahead of him, eager to serve the people of Polk County while making a positive difference as a law enforcement officer."

The sheriff's office said two other people with previous felony convictions living at the house were arrested on charges unrelated to Lane's death. 

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