No decision made on death penalty in Dixie slaying

A grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict John Kalisz for first-degree murder.

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.

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

Reed, 33, was fatally shot once on Jan. 14 during a shootout 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 likely will 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."

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 a 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 to coordinate court appearances for Kalisz and making arrangements for him to be housed in Hernando County.

Contact Karen Voyles at 359-5656 or

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