Former Pinellas Deputy Pleads Guilty to Attempted Manslaughter But Not Convicted Following 2015 Madeira Beach Shooting
On May 15, 2018, former Pinellas County Deputy Timothy Virden pled guilty to attempted manslaughter after a 2015 traffic stop where he shot and injured a handcuffed man in Madeira Beach.
The shooting occurred at about 3 a.m. on December 30, 2015 in Madeira Beach on Gulf Boulevard near the John’s Pass Village.
The victim, Dylan Tompkins-Holmes, was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by deputy and a DUI investigation was underway on the female driver.
Deputy Virden arrived on scene and concluded that Tompkins-Holmes was being disruptive and interfering with the DUI investigation.
Tompkins-Holmes who was yelling and extremely intoxicated was placed in Deputy Virden’s vehicle. He was ultimately shot twice while handcuffed and in the custody of Deputy Virden.
Sheriff Gualtieri arrived on scene and updated the media on the results of the investigation which was in its early stages. According to Gualtieri, while handcuffed behind his back, Tompkins-Holmes reached for Deputy Virden’s gun and took it out of the multi-action retention holster. A struggle ensued and once he regained control of the gun, Deputy Virden fired his agency issued handgun striking Tompkins-Holmes twice.
The internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office later determined that it would have been impossible for Tompkins-Holmes to get the deputies weapon because he was handcuffed and intoxicated. Following that investigation, in response to the Virden’s claim that Tompkins-Holmes posssessed the gun, Gualtieri stated, “It didn’t happen, couldn’t happen.”
Virden was arrested on January 29, 2016 and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri terminated his employment with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Video of press conference on January 29, 2016
A jury trial was scheduled for July 16, 2018 in Pinellas County. On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Virden pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter. He was sentenced to three years probation. He may apply for early termination of his probation after 1 1/2 years. He also must pay fines of $1300 to the courts.
Adjudication was withheld by the courts. This means that although Virden pled guilty to the crime, he was not convicted of the crime by the courts. This means he will not need to notate he was convicted of a crime on future applications, may still vote, own a firearm, and possibly petition the court to seal the record.
A lawsuit was filed by Tompkins-Holmes against Sheriff Gualtieri and Timothy Virden. In that complaint, it states that Tompkins-Holmes had a resection of his intestines, needed a second surgery to remove a bullet from his spine and suffers from profound neurologic damage to his left arm and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.