Suspect opens up, more details released in Orange County deputy's killing



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - New evidence details what happened the night Erica Pugh's boyfriend shot and killed an Orange County deputy.

In February, Pugh's boyfriend, Ben Holterman, shot and killed Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine, then took his own life.

Now, it's Pugh who is charged with first-degree murder in Pine's death and for the first time, Channel 9 heard in recorded statements Pugh admitting to a crime spree that started the deadly confrontation.

"My dumb butt walked back in that area because I was trying to find my love just to find he's dead," Pugh said.

Channel 9 learned Pugh and Holterman were breaking into cars to "survive," that they were unemployed and homeless. After committing a rash of car break-ins, officers were called, leading to the deadly confrontation between Holterman and the 34-year-old Pine.

Pugh told detectives, she and Holterman were on the run from the law when they moved to Orlando.

"He moves down here and then I move down here, and I'm just chasing wild love," she said.

The 19-year-old told detectives she and Holterman would sleep in empty homes for shelter and break into cars looking for cash and gift cards.

"He's gentle when he wants to be but he can be a devil in his own way," Pugh said.

On Feb. 11, the two drove to the Westminster Landing subdivision in the overnight hours. Pugh told detectives she dropped her boyfriend off while she waited in the car on the lookout for cops.

"I do keep an eye on the police because I don't like them myself," she said.

In the meantime, authorities were in the air while Pine was responding on the ground.

In the Sheriff's helicopter video from that night, Pine can be seen standing next to the 28-year-old suspect. Moments later, Pine was shot to death and Holtermann took his own life.

"I'm just mad," said Pugh. "He's so (expletive) selfish he had to kill himself. I have to get through all these charges by myself."

Pugh told detectives she's now suffering the consequences.

"I'm being charged with murder?" Pugh asked when being interviewed by detectives.

"Do you think you should be being charged with murder?" the detective asked.

"No, I wasn't involved," responded Pugh.

At first, Pugh denied knowing about the burglaries but witness testimony from a 911 call could crush her defense.

"The girl just took off and almost tried to hit one of our neighbors as he was tried to stop her," a caller told 911 dispatchers that night.

"That 911 call may be the lynchpin of the state's case," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer, a sentiment echoed by the suspect herself.

"This is putting me away forever, man," said Pugh.