Deltona, FL – Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) now says that a Deltona couple, who claimed they were shot by intruders in their new rental home, faked the home invasion in hopes to recover a cash settlement from their home’s property management company.
The husband and wife, 35-year-old Doug Teixeira and 36-year-old Lindsey Pelton, were arrested on Tuesday for providing false information to law enforcement after VCSO said their accounts of a home invasion at their Deltona rental on October 26 didn’t add up. They had told deputies that two men broke into their rental home on Hayward Ave., shot the husband in the leg, and shot the wife in the arm.
The couple had been transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital by ambulance to treat their gunshot wounds after the alleged shooting and burglary. The wounds were not considered life-threatening. It is possible the gunshot wounds were self-inflicted, but according to VCSO, the couple’s stories have varied, and it’s unclear exactly who fired which shots.
After VCSO investigated the incident, deputies determined that there were several inconsistencies in the couple’s stories. Teixeira and Pelton told investigators that they were in the shower when the intruders came in, yet the shower and the bath mat were completely dry. Also, there were no signs of forced entry to the house. According to surveillance footage of the area, there was no evidence of any vehicles stopping by the house other than a school bus, even though the couple claimed the alleged intruders fled in a vehicle.
VCSO says the crime scene appeared staged. There was a television set lying on the floor as if someone tried to knock it to the ground, but it did not appear damaged in any way. There was also evidence that someone tried to clean up bloody footprints in the house, and a black hat was found with .22 caliber bullets inside, as if someone was trying to hide them, according to VCSO. Those .22 caliber bullets were the same round used in the shooting.
Deputies say it appears that money was the motive for the couple’s fabrication of the home invasion and that the couple wanted to recover insurance money from the company that managed the rental. The couple had contacted a personal injury law firm immediately after they were released from the hospital, according to VCSO. Teixeira told investigators that a small safe with $7,000 and jewelry had been stolen, but investigations revealed that the couple had no money and that Pelton’s father was paying for their living expenses. The reports of the stolen safe were unfounded.
Teixeira and Pelton were both charged with the false claims, according to VCSO, and Teixeira was charged with an additional count of destroying or tampering with evidence. Teixeira was held on $3,500 bond. Pelton was held on $1,000 bond.
(Teixeira’s mugshot courtesy Volusia County Jail)
(Pelton’s mugshot courtesy Volusia County Jail)
You can find earlier reporting of the story here.
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