Deputy facing tampering with evidence charge in connection to Bybee investigation

Carson L. Plank
Carson L. Plank

A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy is facing additional charges in connection to an ongoing investigation surrounding former deputy Frankie Bybee, according to officials.

Carson L. Plank, 23, was charged with tampering with physical evidence. She is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal and internal investigations.

Plank was the first responding deputy to an investigation of attempted murder allegations on Jan. 12. She was responsible for initiating the investigation, however, she allegedly ignored the victim’s report and physical evidence to cover up the crime, according to the sheriff’s office.

Bybee, a former Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy, was charged with attempted murder on Jan. 23 along with several other charges after he allegedly tried to make the attempted murder look like a suicide.

The charges stemmed from allegations that he attempted to “rehome” the woman’s dog and later broke into her home, where he allegedly tried to force sleeping pills down her throat. She reportedly woke up to find her garage door open and her car engine running. The dog was reunited with the owner.

Plank was previously arrested on Feb. 9 and charged with providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation.

During the course of the investigation, detectives found text messages and a photo confirming her involvement in assisting Bybee’s efforts to conceal the crime, according to the sheriff’s office.

Plank, in a text to Bybee on Jan. 12, wrote, “Frankie, she said you tried to kill her.” She texted him again three minutes later saying, “... we squashed it,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The photo, which showed blood and hair evidence in the victim’s home, was never submitted or disclosed to detectives, according to the sheriff’s office.

Plank was charged with tampering with evidence Friday and has since been released on bond.

An internal affairs investigation determined Bybee violated disciplinary standards set by the sheriff’s office including conduct unbecoming of an officer and failing to conform with laws and moral character. Bybee was terminated from his position with the sheriff’s office Jan. 31.

Sara Nealeigh: 941-745-7081, @saranealeigh