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Man tied to two homicides dies at Sarasota County correctional facility

Devonshire copy.jpg
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 12:55:02-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota Police Department held a man in custody on two homicides and drug charges where he later died.

William Jeffrey Devonshire was in custody at the correctional facility at the Sarasota Police Department in March. According to Sarasota police, what originally sent Devonshire to jail were his drug charges. While he was in jail, officers discovered that Devonshire was a suspect in two different women's homicides.

The Sarasota Police Department says that because of Devonshire's death, the two homicides from the months of February and March , in 2022, have been closed.

In February of 2022, the woman who was murdered, Kelliann Ripley,48, was killed by blunt force and strangulation according to the 12th District Medical Examiner's Office.

“We have indisputable evidence that links Devonshire to both of the homicides that occurred in February and March of this year. After analyzing the evidence in both homicides, we have determined that William Devonshire committed both crimes. Our detectives were in the process of writing a probable cause affidavit charging Devonshire with the murder of the second female victim in March of this year when we learned of his death."
Captain Johnathan Todd, Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.

On Friday, March 25, 2022, Devonshire was arrested by Sarasota officers at the location of 1260 12th St. for charges of trespassing, possession of cocaine, and paraphernalia.

While he was in jail for the previous charges, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement contacted the Sarasota Police Department and said that Devonshire's DNA was a match to swabs collected from Ms. Ripley during her autopsy.

May 17, 2022, marks the date when Devonshire was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital due to a medical event. When he returned back to the correctional facility on May 27th, he was under hospice care with a DNR order, according to the report

Detectives say they are confident that he died from a medical-related illness, but the full cause of death will come from the medical examiner’s office.