Already serving 38 months for sexual battery on a high school student, Jay resident Kimberly Seevers will not face trial in a second case.
The decision to drop a second sexual battery on a minor charge was made when the alleged victim in the case, now 18 years old, “decided he does not want to testify,” said James Parker, the First Judicial Circuit’s chief assistant state attorney for Santa Rosa County.
Seevers’ trial had been scheduled for Thursday, and the decision to forego prosecution was made Tuesday, Parker said.
Seevers has been incarcerated in the Santa Rosa County Jail since Jan. 17 when Circuit Court Judge Ross Goodman sentenced her to 38 months for sexual battery on a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She had pleaded no contest to the charges in December.
Defense attorney Barry Beroset said the decision not to proceed to trial in the second case came as a surprise. He had previously characterized the prosecution case as weak, and complimented the State Attorney’s Office for reviewing its evidence before rushing into court.
“They reviewed their investigative report and the statement the alleged victim gave, and I think they made the decision not to go forward based on that,” Beroset said. “I’m happy they did.”
An investigation into Seevers’ activities with minors began soon after the Aug. 30, 2015 death of 17-year-old Tyler Palmer, who was killed when he ran his mother’s car over an embankment on a dead end road in rural Santa Rosa County.
Palmer was highly intoxicated when he left Seevers’ house early that morning, and word had gotten around the rural community of Jay that Seevers, 45 at the time of her arrest, had been sexually involved with several high school students.
An initial investigation following Palmer’s death resulted in officers receiving several denials from underage students and one 18-year-old student’s admission to having sex with Seevers. The case lay dormant until October when Palmer’s parents found text messages between their son and Seevers on his phone.
Seevers was arrested that November when one of the boys who originally denied sexual activity admitted Seevers had engaged him in oral sex.
The second charge, the one for which Seevers was facing trial, was filed in April when, under oath during a deposition, the second teen testified he’d also had sex with Seevers.
Parker said the alleged victim who declined to testify left Jay High School and earned his GED with plans to enroll in a junior college. His family is now living in Alabama.
“He does not want to return to the state to appear in court,” Parker said.
Beroset said Seevers and her family are ready to move forward and put the past behind them. She will soon be transferred to a facility within the state corrections system.
"These are unfortunate cases for everybody," he said.