DIANE M. MOORE
A Jackson County man facing multiple charges around a sexual assault and other incidents while in custody took a plea deal as jury selection for his trial was beginning Monday morning.
Travis Dickson Wilson, 39, accepted the plea as he was set to be sentenced under the Prison Releasee Reoffender law which means he will serve day for day of those 30 years with no gain time awarded.
Wilson was charged with sexual assault with a weapon/sexual battery of a victim 12 or older, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, armed burglary of a conveyance, robbery with a firearm and carjacking with a firearm. He was sentenced to 30 years in the Florida Department of Corrections with 10 years of sexual predator probation to follow his release.
Assistant State Attorney Shalla Jefcoat said she usually does not accept negotiated pleas on the day trials begin.
“I was not expecting this to happen this morning,” Jefcoat said. “But I spoke with the victim and she said she was good with the deal. The plea also allows the victim to not have to relive the ordeal.”
The case began in April 2019 when Wilson used a gun to force the victim into her vehicle at First Baptist Church in Chipley. Once in the vehicle, Wilson instructed the victim to drive to a location on Peanut Road where he sexually assaulted her.
Wilson then drove the victim back to Chipley where he dropped her off on Third Street and told her he was taking her car back to the church so he would have some time to get away.
Investigators with Chipley Police Department interviewed the victim at Northwest Florida Community Hospital where they gathered a description and statements. Just under two weeks later, Wilson was identified as the prime suspect and was captured April 18.
Wilson’s time in custody so far has been turbulent. In February 2020, Wilson escaped custody while at the Jackson County Courthouse for a hearing. He was taken back into custody a short time later. In June 2022, Wilson was charged with aggravated battery in a stabbing incident with another inmate at the Jackson County Correctional Facility.
Wilson received 15 years for both of those incidents as part of his plea deal. The sentence will run concurrent with the previous sentence.