Crime

Teen-Beating Suspect Back In Jail After Posting Selfie

| by Karin Sun
Jessica Umberger in court on April 18Jessica Umberger in court on April 18

A Florida woman accused of beating a teenager with a crowbar in February 2015 has had her bail revoked after her sister posted a picture of the two of them on social media.

Jessica Umberger, 19, of Brevard County, Florida, was ordered back to jail on April 18 after she took a selfie with her sister, who then posted it to social media, Florida Today reports. Circuit Judge James Earp, who ordered the teen back behind bars after a 12-minute hearing at the Moore Justice Center in Viera, Florida, said the photo is a direct violation of the terms of her bail.

The selfie shows Umberger and her sister, Amber, smiling and posing for the camera. During the hearing, Amber testified that she took the photo using an iPod Touch and posted it on social media to celebrate National Sibling Day.

When Umberger pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for her role in the crowbar attack and was released on bail in January, a judge prohibited her from using computers, smartphones and tablets as a condition of her release. This restriction was imposed because Umberger, along with her co-defendants in the attack, had posted about the crime online.

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Umberger was also accused of failing to pay the $10 a week required for a GPS ankle monitor. 

The teen was re-arrested and taken back to detention on April 15. She will be held in the county jail until her sentencing in July, where she could face up to 15 years in prison.

Although Umberger's attorneys said the iPod Touch used to take the photo does not count as a computer, tablet or smartphone, the judge disagreed and revoked the teen's bond, WOFL Fox 35 reported.

"This is an intentional violation," Judge Earp said during Umberger's court hearing, according to Florida Today. "She is out on a serious crime and frankly she's fortunate she was released in the first place."

Umberger, along with 19-year-old Rebecca Gotay and 18-year-old Dylan Thomas, were accused of viciously beating Daniel Vukovich, then 17, with a crowbar in February 2015. Vukovich, from Satellite Beach, Florida,suffered serious injuries in the attack, including facial injuries and fractures to the head.

The three defendants, who were arrested within 24 hours of the attack, were initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, according to another Florida Today article. Umberger and Gotay eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated battery, while Thomas pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder.

The teens reportedly attacked Vukovich because he stole marijuana from Thomas. 

Sources: Florida Today (2), WOFL Fox 35 / Photo Credit: Malcolm Denemark/Florida TodayWOFL Fox 35

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