According to the Hillsborough, Fla. County Sheriff’s Office, mental health counselor Sarah Hughey shot a man in her office. She was arrested Oct. 20, however, on charges unrelated to the shooting.
While investigating the shooting, detectives discovered evidence that Hughey, 49, had filed a false police report and insurance claim.
On Sept. 29, Hughey reported to deputies a burglary at the Apollo Beach home she shares with her husband. She reported that $13,936 in property was stolen. She also signed a sworn statement, the sheriff’s office said.
Hughey filed a claim with her insurance company on Oct. 5 for which she was reportedly paid $1,925.
On Oct. 19, the sheriff’s office interviewed a witness who had been in a relationship with Hughey for six months. The witness, whom they would not name, claimed to be at Hughey’s Apollo Beach home on Sept. 27 when Hughey retrieved several pieces of gold jewelry. She and the witness drove to the International Flea Market, located in Tampa, and sold the jewelry for $2,900.
Hughey then allegedly told the witness that she would report her jewelry stolen and now faces charges of insurance fraud and filing a false report to law enforcement as a result.
In the shooting case, deputies responded on Oct. 17 to the offices of Hughey Behavioral, in Tampa, where Hughey allegedly shot ex-prison inmate, Arthur Cornelius Howard, 30, of Clearwater. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Although deputies questioned Hughey after the shooting, she was not charged.
Authorities have not elaborated on the pair’s relationship, though in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Howard’s sister described it as a personal relationship dating back to Howard’s release from federal prison in December.
The sister, Delphanie Thompson, said she saw her brother and Hughey together about a dozen times. She said she saw them hold hands and kiss, and the three went to Ybor City and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The sheriff’s office said it’s continuing to investigate the shooting, and detectives will be reviewing the case with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office.