Sarasota deputy facing charge in connection to Bybee investigation

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office logo
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office logo Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office employee has been charged in connection with an investigation into former co-worker Frankie Bybee.

Bybee is facing 25 charges in an ongoing investigation, including the attempted murder of a 79-year-old Sarasota woman. He is also accused of taking several thousands of dollars from her.

Carson L. Plank, 23, a patrol deputy with the sheriff’s office, was one of the first deputies to respond to the scene of the 79-year-old victim’s home on Jan. 12 to investigate the alleged attempted murder. She’s accused of lying to law enforcement about evidence she found at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives interviewed Plank later that day, when she said she didn’t see anything “out of the ordinary at the victim’s home to cause her to believe an attempted murder had occurred,” and denied being in touch with Bybee since he was placed on administrative leave in December, according to the probable cause affidavit.

However, during a second interview on Jan. 19, Plank revealed that she lied during her earlier questioning. Plank said while at the woman’s house, she found a blood droplet with human hair and took a picture on her personal cell phone but did not submit the photo into evidence. Instead, she admitted sending the image to Bybee, according to the report.

She also contacted Bybee and told him about questions detectives asked her about the attempted murder allegations. Phone records confirmed the two were in contact, according to the sheriff’s office.

Plank was placed on administrative leave after the Jan. 19 interview.

Plank was subsequently charged with one count of providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation. She was booked into the Sarasota County jail on Thursday and after her first appearance in court was released on her own recognizance, according to the sheriff’s office.

Plank’s employment with the department is pending the outcome of criminal and internal affairs investigations.

Bybee also worked for the Bradenton Police Department from September 1996 to December 1998. He was terminated from his position with the sheriff’s office Jan. 31. Bybee remains in the Sarasota County jail on bonds totaling $380,120.

Sara Nealeigh: 941-745-7081, @saranealeigh