September 3, 2020 - Statement Regarding Thomas Kinworthy Jr. and Murder of Officer Tamarris Bohannon

We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events on August 29th, that led to the murder of St. Louis Police Officer Tamarris Bohannon. Our hearts are with the Bohannon family, their friends, and all the men and women of the St. Louis Police Department as they struggle to deal with this terrible loss. We pray their suffering will ease and together find strength in the difficult days ahead.

Our office stands prepared to assist the authorities in St. Louis in any way possible. To the extent that our efforts do not interfere with the Missouri cases, we will also aggressively seek to prosecute Officer Bohannon’s killer, regardless of how long it may take, and hold him accountable for the felony crimes for which he was sought in Florida.

Recently questions have been raised as to Kinworthy’s status as a fugitive from Florida at the time he brutally murdered Officer Bohannan. Those concerns are reasonable in light of the terrible suffering he caused and the desire to know if anything further could have been done to prevent his actions.

Our ability to comment on specific facts of any case is limited so as not to violate the rules of criminal procedure, adversely impact the rights of victims, or potentially impair a prosecution. However, we can provide a better understanding of the arrest, charging, and bond processes in the Kinworthy cases.

On August 30, 2019, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit began an investigation into allegations that Thomas Kinworthy Jr. had sexually battered and falsely imprisoned a person in Satellite Beach, Florida. Lacking enough evidence to arrest Kinworthy at that time, the investigation continued until January 28, 2020 when deputies were able to show probable cause and obtain a warrant for Kinworthy’s arrest. He was taken into custody and held on no bond at the Brevard County Jail.

On February 6, 2020, our office received the investigative reports and began to review the case for a formal charging decision. The Supreme Court has placed a burden on prosecutors that they must reasonably believe the alleged crimes can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, to proceed with filing formal criminal charges with the Court. This standard is much higher than the probable cause standard met by law enforcement when obtaining an arrest warrant.

In the Kinworthy case, the evidence required to meet that burden of proof was not initially present. As a result, prosecutors were ethically and legally obligated not to file an Information formally charging Kinworthy with a crime. Under Florida law, if the State cannot file an Information within 33 days of a defendant’s arrest, the defendant is entitled to ask the Court to be released on their own recognizance or “ROR” as recorded by the Clerk. That request was granted, however the State requested, and the Court ordered that restrictions on the defendant, including no contact with the victim, be imposed.

Believing that the victim had been truthful, prosecutors worked with investigators to continue seeking evidence to meet our burden of proof and allow us to file the case. In the following months, investigators obtained significant evidence, including materials that amounted to an admission by the defendant of his guilt, and on July 22, 2020, the State filed an Information charging Thomas Kinworthy Jr. with one count of Kidnapping (F1 Punishable by Life), and one count of Attempted Sexual Battery (F3 Maximum of 5 years in prison).

This resulted in the case being placed on the criminal docket of Judge Charles Crawford and set for a review hearing on August 19, 2020. Kinworthy and his attorney were noticed he was required to appear at that hearing.

On August 05, 2020, investigators acting on evidence obtained during the Kidnapping and Sexual Battery investigation, obtained an arrest warrant charging Kinworthy with Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon (F2 Maximum of 15 years in prison) with a bond of $15,000 assigned by Judge Nancy Malony. Kinworthy posted that bond and was released from custody.

On August 19, 2020, Kinworthy failed to appear as required in the Kidnapping and Sexual Battery case and Judge Crawford issued a Failure to Appear Bench Warrant with no bond, for his arrest. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office then began the effort to locate him as a fugitive.

The Constitution of the United States protects an individual’s right from unlawful arrest and prosecution. It is our sincere belief that everyone involved in this investigation performed their duties within the framework of the law, and actively sought to bring Thomas Kinworthy to justice for his crimes. They did not abandon these efforts and continued to pursue evidence of his guilt. Sadly, it is the success of those efforts that ultimately may have caused Kinworthy to flee Florida and commit his deadly crimes in St. Louis. Something no one involved in these cases can ever forget or undo.


Public Records are available to view on the Brevard Clerk of Courts Website

Todd Brown
Public Information &
(321) 617-7310
Office of the State Attorney
18th Judicial Circuit
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson
Way Building D
Viera, Fl. 32940

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