Deputies: Sex offender didn't report address change to avoid 'spooking' neighbors

Sex offender didn't report address change to avoid 'spooking' neighbors
Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 12:17:54-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - A registered sex offender in Wakulla County is facing charges after he told police he didn't report his address change because he didn't want to "spook" his neighbors. 

Eric Maxwell was arrested by the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, deputies were conducting unannounced address verifications at the homes of registered sexual offenders and predators in Wakulla County. 

One of the addresses checked was Maxwell's. 

WCSO states Maxwell has been a registered sex offender since Jan. 1998, following a conviction for committing a lewd and lascivious act on a minor under the age of 16. 

Deputies were informed that Maxwell was no longer at his original address in Sopchoppy, Fla. and was now living in Crawfordville. 

Maxwell called deputies and when asked to provide a timeline for when he stayed at his new address, he stated "I only stay here the limited time" and later said "yeah, I stay 5 days then I go back to my mom's house."  

When deputies further asked why he failed to register his address change as required by law, Maxwell said "me and my wife talked about this a month ago. I stay here to help take care of the grandbaby while she works, we didn’t' want to ‘spook’ the neighbors and there's a lot of kids in the neighborhood." 

Maxwell further stated "I get my grandbaby on the bus every morning and wait for the bus every afternoon.”  

Detectives researched and found that since July 2, Maxwell has been listed on the utilities at the home in Crawfordville.  

Maxwell told deputies that he became a subscriber of city water at that address the following day and is also the subscriber of a cell phone at the address. 

A search of Maxwell's prior sex offender registration history revealed three prior offenses of sex offender restriction violations with one of his prior violations being related to failure to provide an address change. 

Thursday, deputies interviewed Maxwell, who admitted he moved to the Crawfordville address around the end of July and has been living there since. 

Maxwell indicated he opened utilities in his name at the Crawfordville address and said he did not report the address change because he did not want to "spook" his neighbors and let them know he was a sex offender. 

Based on his admission, Maxwell is being charged with failure to update his address change and failure to update the address on his driver's license. 

He was taken to the Wakulla County Jail.