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Man Found Dead in Lakeland Was Facing Child Porn Charges, Deputies Say

11-1-2013 Florida:

LAKELAND | A man found dead in his South Lakeland home Thursday night after deputies surrounded the property had been wanted on out-of-state child pornography charges, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Michael James Nicholson Gattis, 36, was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head when a Polk County Sheriff's SWAT team entered the home, according to the Sheriff's Office.

According to the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department, the agency had an arrest warrant on file for Gattis on two counts of child porn possession.

Polk County deputies had contacted Gattis and asked him to report for questioning in regard to the warrant.

Gattis declined, according to the Sheriff's Office, telling detectives he had weapons in his home at 6820 Lakeland Highlands Road and wanted to speak to his wife, who deputies said had recently left him.

SWAT team members arrived outside his home about 4 p.m. but were unable to make contact with Gattis. Deputies closed Lakeland Highlands Road near the intersection of Crews Lake Drive for several hours.

The team entered his home about 7:30 p.m. and found him dead in an upstairs bathroom, deputies said. Neighbors reported hearing noises that sounded like gunfire, but sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said no gunshots were exchanged by Gattis and deputies.

The sounds likely came from the SWAT team entering the home and deploying a form of pepper spray, she said, which would have made noises that could be mistaken for gunfire. ..Source.. by Matthew Pleasant

Child porn suspect commits suicide


Deputies in Polk County say a child pornography suspect committed suicide after a standoff Thursday evening.

According to the sheriff's office, police from Fairfax County, Virginia contacted PCSO about an open warrant for Michael James Nicholson Gattis of Lakeland. It was connected to an active investigation in which Gattis allegedly downloaded child pornography

Deputies asked Gattis, 36, to come in for questioning, but he declined and holed up in his Lakeland Highlands Road home. He said he was armed and insisted he would only speak to his estranged wife.

SWAT officers responded to the home, but they were unable to make contact with Gattis. Around 7:30 p.m., they entered the home and found Gattis dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. ..Source.. by Fox

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