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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Crime & Courts

Polk teacher arrested for threatening official


Published:

— A Polk County school teacher was arrested for threatening a public official.

Kelly Ann Karynn, 49, of Lakeland, had threatened Polk County Assistant State Attorney Melissa Gravitt and her family, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. She was arrested yesterday and charged with corruption by threat against a public official. She is being held in the Polk County Jail with no bond, said Scott Wilder, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Karynn, an English teacher at Bartow Middle School, was talking by phone to David Bills, who was in jail during the phone conversation on charges of child sexual battery. Karynn and Bills, who is married, were involved in a romantic relationship before he was arrested in December 2013, the sheriff’s office said.

On Monday, Bills called Karynn, who told him that she had been served a subpoena by the Polk County State Attorney’s Office for a deposition for Bills’ trial.

Karynn told Bills that she had looked up personal information on Gravitt and had seen photos of her, her husband and their children, the sheriff’s office said.

During the conversation, Bills told Karynn that Gravitt has a tough reputation and she tries to “scare” criminal defendants, the sheriff’s office said.

Karynn responded, “If she wants to scare me, I’ll start talking about children and how I know she has three children and their ages,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Bills told Karynn that the jail conversation was probably being recorded. Karynn replied that it was OK. She then asked Bills for the last name of the arresting detective to look up information on him, according to the sheriff’s office.

On Wednesday, sheriff’s detectives served a search warrant on Karynn’s home and took her cell phone, computer and documents for the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

The Polk County School District has placed Karynn on paid administrative leave while the case is under investigation. Karynn began working as a school teacher with the Polk County School District in August 2010. She first worked at Lakeland Senior High. In July 2011, she was transferred to Bartow Middle School. She earnes $38,949 a year.

Bill was originally arrested in November 2013 for sexual battery on a young girl, the sheriff’s office said. He posted bail in late November 2013. He was arrested again in December 2013 for violating conditions of his pre-trial release after having contact with the child he had been accused of sexual battery, the sheriff’s office said. He has remained in jail since December.

jpatino@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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