PALM COAST, Fla. - An elaborate jerry-rigged door using a car battery charger, electrical cords and wiring, a shower-type rod, tape and chairs led Flagler County authorities to a Palm Coast man accused of trying to electrocute his pregnant estranged wife, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“This is one of the most bizarre domestic-violence cases I have seen in my career,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Not only did this man plan to electrocute his wife, but he could have injured a deputy or any person attempting to enter this residence.”
Michael Scott Wilson, 32, was located Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn., and is charged with two counts of attempted aggravated battery on a pregnant person and one count of grand theft of a firearm, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies responded to the White Hall Drive home Tuesday that the couple rented in Palm Coast to conduct a security check of the property after the homeowner contacted authorities about some concerns of Williams’ wife. While the estranged couple was visiting in Tennessee, she said he made some verbal cues that he had possibly done something to the home.
When the homeowners checked the residence, they noticed some strange writing possibly in lipstick on the sliding-glass door that said “Hi” with two eyes drawn above. When there appeared to be something behind the front door, they contacted the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies noted that the front door appeared to be barricaded and there were burn marks near the handle. A deputy kicked in the door, triggering a large spark. The door had been booby-trapped with electrical devices, the Sheriff’s Office said.
One set of wiring appeared to be taken from a lamp and had the cut end of wiring wrapped into the door’s locking features. Another set of wires with clamps from a car battery charger also was attached, according to arrest documents.
It appeared “to have been rigged so that when the house key was inserted into the top-portion dead-bolt-locking mechanism by one hand and then grabbing a hold of the lower-portion door handle with the other hand, an electrical closed circuit would be established,” according to the charging affidavit.
An electrical expert later examined photos of the apparatus and concluded there was an 80 percent to 100 percent chance a person who touched both the door lock/keys and handle simultaneously would suffer death or great bodily harm, according to the report.
The homeowners, Jon and Alisha Flositz, told deputies they never made contact with both at the same time when they tried to open the door, the report said.
Some camera devices had been thrown in a toilet and a lamp didn’t have a bulb and electrical cord attached. In the kitchen were sonogram photos spread out on the countertop, the report said. Some sticky notes, love letters and a photo album opened to a picture of the Wilsons together were on the bed.
Court records indicate Ashley Lauren Wilson, 29, filed for divorce on Dec. 6. After Michael Wilson’s arrest, she told investigators he had some sort health issue a few months ago and fell to the ground, according to the arrest report. She said his behavior changed and at the end of November he was placed in a mental health facility under the state’s Baker Act. He hadn’t returned home since then, she said.
She said she also secured a gun and two smart cameras that could be viewed on her cellphone for her safety, according to the report. A little more than a week ago, he called her apologizing for his absence and wanted to be together again. So she invited him to Knoxville while visiting family for Christmas.
She said she got him a room at a hotel and he arrived Dec. 21. But he left early Dec. 23 without explanation. That was followed by text messages to her accusing her of cheating on him. She didn’t speak with him until the next day Christmas Eve and said she calmed him down. He told her he had gone to visit family in Ohio, and she let him know he was welcome back in Tennessee where he returned that day.
Ashley Wilson told investigators that while he was gone, she had received an alert on phone that her cameras were disconnected from the internet. When Michael Wilson came back to Knoxville, she also became concerned about him asking about having the cameras installed and a firearm in the exact location she had hidden it.
One other comment particularly alarmed her. She said he told her when she goes home to “make sure you use the front door because the garage door is not going to open” and to make sure their daughter wasn’t with her because he didn’t want her getting hurt, according to the arrest documents. She then contacted the Flositzes about her concerns.
Wednesday a detective also discovered Michael Wilson recently changed his Facebook profile to “widowed.” He is jailed on $150,000 bail and will be extradited to the Flagler County detention facility, the Sheriff’s Office said.
He had no local criminal history or other calls for service to their home, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brittany Kershaw said.