No decision on death-penalty prosecution in Dixie Co. case


Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.

No decision has been made on whether the seek the death penalty for the man accused of fatally shooting Dixie County sheriff's Capt. Chad Reed earlier this month.

Reed, 33, was shot once in the mouth on Jan. 14 during a shoot-out in Cross City between deputies and John Kalisz, 55, a Hernando County homicide suspect. Kalisz was shot five times before being taken into custody and hospitalized.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was continuing its investigation in the case on Monday, according to agency spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky.

"I can tell you he had been charged with first-degree murder," for Reed's death," Chernosky said Monday afternoon.

Kalisz remained in custody at Shands at the University of Florida on Monday but will likely be released to be arraigned within five to 14 days, according to the Dixie County Sheriff's Office. Those close to the case said a Dixie County grand jury is expected to be convened by mid-February to consider whether to indict Kalisz for first-degree murder. A first-degree indictment would make it possible for State Attorney Robert "Skip" Jarvis to seek the death penalty for Kalisz. In an e-mail to The Sun, Jarvis said his agency is waiting for additional information.

"At this point I am not in a position to say whether I will seek the death penalty because I have not yet received any investigative reports from any agency," Jarvis wrote. "I feel it would be premature for me to make any announcement of that latitude without even having seen what the final investigation reveals. I am purposely proceeding slowly and deliberately so that nothing is overlooked and nothing is left to chance. I want this done right, with all I's dotted and T's crossed."

Kalisz is accused of killing two women - one of whom was his sister - and wounding two others in Hernando County before eluding police and ending up in Dixie County. Before pulling into the gas station, he threatened to "take out as many deputies as possible," Hernando authorities have said.

On Monday Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher said his agency has been working with Hernando County on coordinating court appearances for Kalisz and making arrangements for him to be housed in Hernando County.

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