A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Florida Home Invasion

On February 1, 2009, a Sunday morning, a high school athlete put on a mask and his buddy put a hood over his head. Ta Heem BlakeArmed with an SKS rifle and a handgun, the two used a brick to shatter a sliding glass door before they stormed into Maria Lerma's home.

Ta Heem Blake went through the home with the SKS while his classmate, Marquis Sanders, armed with a handgun, took a hostage and stood lookout at the doorway. In a bedroom, Blake discovered Maria Lerma and a 27 year old man. The man grabbed a machete and was shot in the arm by Blake. Then Blake turned the SKS on Maria Lerma, shooting her in the chest and killing her.

Blake began rummaging through drawers intent on robbery. Armando Lerma had hidden behind the refrigerator, and retreated to his bedroom to get his handgun. When he encountered Blake, the dead woman's son shot his mother's killer in the spine, paralyzing him. Police found Blake laying in the doorway next to his rifle. Marquis Sanders, hearing the gunfire, had run off and left his friend to his fate.

The next day, Sanders was taken into custody at Palmetto High School. He confessed to the crime during questioning. Ta Heem Blake was still in the hospital, refusing to talk. Marquis SandersHe is expected to remain paralyzed from the neck down.

Taxpayers will pay the tab on Ta Heem Blake's hospitalization, because he is a foster child. "A foster child is in our custody, so any medical care that is not covered by Medicare, we will cover," said Erin Gillespie, spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families Services. Blake had a previous arrest, a felony gun charge, on his record.

The mother of Marquis Sanders, Toy Sanders-Brown, begged the court to set a bond so he could be released from jail. "He is a loving person. Not a rowdy kid, not a street kid," she cried. Right. Marquis Sanders had two previous felony arrests, one for lewd and lascivious exhibition, and another for cocaine possession. Bond for Marquis Sanders was denied. Both teens are charged with the murder of Maria Lerma.

Classmates who knew Blake and Sanders described them as cool kids. "(Sanders) was popular, he was in my English class," said Stephen Mowery, a senior. "He’s a good kid, smart. He always makes people laugh."

Charles Merino Jr., a junior who ran track with Blake, said he does not believe his schoolmate pulled the trigger. "I know he didn’t shoot that woman, he’s too scared," he said. Merino claims they played paintball before and Blake was too nervous to shoot.

Jesse Wright, a sophomore, said the two had no reason to rob anyone. "(Blake) would have gotten into college. It wasn’t like they needed money or anything," declared Wright.

It doesn't matter how many receptions an athlete catches on Friday night, how many friends blind sycophants he collects in high school, if he commits crimes, he is a criminal. One crime such as this trumps everything else. If this is the kind of love Sanders and Blake were spreading, Armando Lerma deserves a public thank you. He absolutely stopped one vicious thug from ever victimizing another person, and hopefully made certain his partner will never walk free again. It's a shame the citizens of Florida will have to foot the bill.



Anonymous HeadlandRam said...

Xavier, this hits close to home for me, I play for a rural town in Alabama ( Won't say where but we are 8 mile's away from dothan) and well one of our senior's ,2 months after the end of the season, Robbed a kfc and a gas station and came to school the next day showing off the money he got and within the hour he was arrested, It surprised all of us. I also commend the actions of the home-owner for defending himself. I guess you never know who will rob or kill not matter how good they seem to be.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Too bad the other one got away...

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this sounds rather cold, but, too bad the perp didn't die. Now we have to pay for his feeding tubes.

Maybe karma will come back and cause a blockage in his tubes one day.

Scum like that will never repent nor will they ever feel "sorry" for what they did.

I have visited enough prisons to help with ministries and educational assistance to know that the crap that washes ashore in our prisons most often (not always) is there for a darn good reason.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope someone mercilessly torments the paralyzed idiot in whatever part of his body still has feeling in it.

What a piece of ****.

As for the other jerk, he will live an undeservedly cushy life in prison--cushy compared to the long, cold, permanent death that will be experienced by the woman whom he and his buddy murdered in cold blood.

Teenaged super predators need to be exterminated--for our good.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

I cared for a paraplegic man for 2 years. If you wished the worst punishment for the thug burglar I say it has happened and it will haunt him everyday until his death.

7:00 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

mister potatoe nailed it...to be a jock stuck in a chair,to never run or do anything else for yourself ever again..freely.
no better karma can be exacted,he did this,and brought it on himself

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


Good points here...I'd like to make another. The late, great Jeff Cooper wrote a piece about making your home a fortress. While most of us can't, or won't, build a place like the Colonel's, we can do things like replacing sliding glass doors with something a little more stout. At least windowed doors (with double-keyed deadbolts) might've given the residents a little more time to better defend themselves.

More on the subject can be gleaned from Cooper's "Notes on Tactical Residential Architecture" in his book, To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.

Mike Harbour
Helena, MT

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's a shame the citizens of Florida will have to foot the bill."

No kidding!

12:21 AM  
Blogger Aanoosh said...

The real tragedy here is why our young people are turning to drugs, sex, crime and other self destructive behaviors when they're living in a country that offers so much opportunity. Something somewhere is failing miserably when robbing a family, smoking crack, or creating illegitimate children is the best choice that a person can come up with instead of starting a business, becoming an artist, working on your own community service project, or taking care of your friends and neighbors.

Locking them up is a good first step, but we then must take the equally important next step and figure out a way to stop young people from ever choosing this path.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Ed Skinner said...

Creating a fully functioning adult who is capable of cooperatively living in society is, apparently, a difficult but do-able task. Some children achieve this in spite of bad parenting whereas others, even with good parenting, fail.

And it is the responsibility of that society, by the simple "right" of head count -- there's more of us than there is of them -- to pass judgement on the result.

You do the crime, you pay the price.

Good riddance.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But he's such a NICE BOY.......spit

9:49 AM  
Blogger Clay said...

Got an interesting defensive stabbing in San Fransisco:


9:32 AM  

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