FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - A Flagler County man was arrested Thursday in Knoxville, Tennessee, after deputies said he tried to electrocute his pregnant estranged wife.
Michael Scott Wilson, 32, faces charges of attempted aggravated battery on a pregnant person and grand theft of a firearm, deputies said.
Deputies were called Tuesday to a home at 110 White Hall Drive in Palm Coast after the homeowner said he was worried about statements Wilson made, investigators said.
Wilson's wife told deputies he told her to "use the front door because the garage door is not going to open" and to make sure the child didn't open the door because, "I don't want her getting hurt," investigators said.
Deputies said they noticed the door had burn marks and appeared to be barricaded, so a deputy kicked in the door and noticed an electrical device was hooked up to the top lock and lower door handle and to a wall electrical outlet.
Deputies said one set of electrical wiring appeared to be a cord that had been cut from a lamp's electrical bulb used for a salt rock lamp in a nearby bedroom.
The cord had circular switch for easy on and off power and had the cut end of wiring wrapped into the doors locking features, investigators said. The other end still had the wall outlet plug adapter affixed as seen on a standard electrical cord, deputies said.
Deputies said it was apparent that Wilson rigged the door in an attempt to electrocute or cause serious bodily injury to whoever opened the door.
The items used for the electrocution consisted of two chairs, one high chair, shower type rod, electrical cords, wiring and a battery charger with clamps, deputies said.
Wilson is also accused of stealing a firearm inside the Palm Coast home, deputies said.
“This is one of the most bizarre domestic violence cases I have seen in my career,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “Not only did this man plan to electrocute his wife, but he could have injured a deputy or any person attempting to enter this residence.”
Flagler County Chief Steve Brandt said he's heard about this kind of setup, but it's the first time he's ever encountered one.
"I've been doing this 24 years in law enforcement," he said. "We are always warned of booby traps, systems of security in residences that can cause harm, (but) this is the first time I've ever dealt with it or encountered it or ever seen."
Wilson does not have any electrical training to speak of, deputies said.
The device setup was sophisticated, though, and even had a backup battery that would power the setup if the home lost electricity, investigators said.
Deputies believe Wilson learned how to construct the booby trap on the internet.
No one answered the door of the home when Channel 9 went to get a comment on the incident, and Wilson's landlord said he hasn't seen the man in a month.
Court records show that Wilson's wife filed for divorce two weeks before deputies found the booby trap.
Neighbors said they never had any problems with Wilson and his now-estranged wife, who have lived in the home for about a year and-a-half.
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