No bond for girlfriend of man who shot, killed Orange County deputy

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ORLANDO, Fla. - The girlfriend of a man who shot and killed an Orange County deputy early Tuesday morning will remain jailed on burglary and grand theft charges.

Investigators said Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine, 34, was responding to reports of car break-ins on Westminster Abbey Boulevard when he confronted 28-year-old Benjamin Holtermann, who was armed and tried to run away from the deputy.

According to officials, Pine chased the suspect through nearby backyards but he Holtermann opened fire, shooting and killing the deputy.

Holtermann’s girlfriend, Erica Pugh, was with him and in the neighborhood at the time of the shooting, authorities said. Investigators said she drove off as Pine fled on foot after a neighbor confronted them.

Investigators said Pugh was taken into custody a short time later and confessed to a recent armed robbery that happened in the area of Hiawassee and Old Winter Garden roads.

On Wednesday, Orange County sheriff's officers asked for no bond on Pugh's grand theft charge involving a car. 

But Pugh's public defender tried to convince the judge not to hold his client on no bond because Pugh had been open with investigators about what happened the night before Pine was shot and killed.

"While I understand that this case has high emotions, nearly all of these (charges) should have come in with a bond, and I don't think it's appropriate for police officers to ring it in with no bond," Pugh's attorney said.

The judge disagreed and said it was enough that Pugh admitted she participated. She then ordered Pugh to be held on no bond for the robbery with a firearm charge.

Pugh spoke only once when she faced the judge and shook her head affirmatively more than once as the judge ran through her charges.

“Last night we lost a hero. But a family grieves the loss of a husband, father, a son, a brother,” Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

Holtermann committed suicide in the neighborhood a short time after the shooting, officials said.

Demings told Channel 9 two bullets were stopped by the deputy’s vest, but a third went through his side. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was in the air and caught the fatal shooting on camera.

“It shows deputy Pine chasing a fleeing subject, ultimately being shot and then it shows life slipping away from him,” Demings said.

The incident wasn’t Holtermann’s first run-in with law enforcement. He had a criminal history and spent several years in prison for a robbery in Maryland.

Pugh and Holtermann were transients with no apparent ties to central Florida, Demings said.

Memorial services for Pine are still being arranged, according to the Sheriff's Office website.

A fund has been set up for his family.  Donations can be made at any Orlando Federal Credit Union branch.