Volusia couple faked home invasion to collect settlement money, deputies say

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A husband and wife are accused of shooting themselves at their Deltona home to fool law enforcement officers into thinking they were the victims of a home invasion so they could collect a cash settlement from their property management company.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said that Doug Teixeira and Lindsey Pelton had been living at their Hayward Avenue home for about a month when they attempted to stage a crime scene the afternoon of Oct. 26.

The couple initially told deputies that two masked men came in their home through the sliding glass door. They said the men asked Pelton, “Where’s Javier?” and when she said she didn’t know who Javier was, they shot her in the arm, then shot Teixeira in the leg as he was coming out of the shower.

Deputies said they found several inconsistencies in the couple’s story and noted that the crime scene appeared to be staged.

The shower and bath mat were dry even though Teixeira claimed he had been in the shower; the TV was on the floor but not damaged in any way; there were no signs of forced entry; there was evidence that someone had tried to clean up bloody footprints; a sock filled with .22-caliber ammunition that matched the type used in the shooting was found in a hat; and there were no signs that a vehicle had stopped at the home, according to a news release.

The investigation revealed that the couple had lied about a safe containing $7,000 and jewelry being stolen, deputies said. In fact, family members said the couple was broke and Pelton’s father was paying their living expenses, authorities said.

Deputies said the couple changed their story several times, saying that the shooting was accidental and they tried to cover it up.

Detectives said they determined that the couple went to a personal injury law firm immediately after they were released from the hospital in hopes of receiving a cash settlement from the company that manages their property.

Teixeira told deputies that Pelton shot herself in the arm and he shot himself in the leg two minutes later, but Pelton said she never shot herself, according to the arrest report.

Deputies said it’s unclear who shot whom, and Teixeira destroyed the gun.

Teixeira and Pelton were charged with providing false information to law enforcement. Teixeira was also charged with an additional count of destroying or tampering with evidence.

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