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Suzette Penton Case: Driver Charged With First Degree Murder

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - New details are being released in a Polk County murder investigation involving four teens. Those teens are being charged after allegedly running over a woman following an ongoing dispute with her son. Police tell CW44 News At 10 the mother succumbed to her injuries Wednesday. 

The Polk County Sheriff's office released a dispatch call from November 9, 2020: "I'm heading away from Polk City heading toward Auburndale. I'm following a van, you probably got a phone call, I'm following the van that ran this lady over!"

CW44 News At 10

A small town has been shaken after Polk County officials release new details in an investigation. 52-year-old Polk County mother Suzette Penton has died from her injuries after officers say she was run on November 9, 2020. "A lady that was doing nothing but trying to gather photographs of suspects who attacked her child a their home!"

Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff, Grady Judd said the 18-year-old driver, Elijah Stansell's charges are being upgraded to adult first degree murder charges while the other teens face attempted murder for the crime.

It's Penton's family, however that suffers the most. "She left with her youngest son to the store for a few minutes. Little did she realize at that moment in time, that directly across the street in a park, there were four people in a van. They were waiting to go beat up Hunter," said Sheriff Judd.

Officers say Stansell brought three other people: 16-year-old Raven Sutton, 15-year-old Kimberly Stone and 14-year-old Hannah Eubank to the victim's house to handle an ongoing dispute. "Kimberly Stone was the ex-girlfriend to Hunter Penton. Her new boyfriend is Elijah Stansell. Well, Kimberly had been communicating back and forth online with Penton's son and said, 'Well, I'll get my boyfriend and we'll come beat you up'," said Sheriff Judd.

After Penton was seen leaving her home, the teens approached the front door and a fight ensued between Penton's son and the teens. "They go up to the front door. The instigator of all this stays in the van. Hunter has no idea. When he comes out the side door, Elijah confronts him and starts beating him up. About that time, unexpectedly, Suzette comes back," said Sheriff Judd.

That's when the teens scramble for the van and Penton runs after them. Seconds later, the van is seen pulling away as Penton stood in the roadway where police say Stansell then intentionally hit Penton before fleeing the scene.

All four teens are being charged as adults for murder and attempted murder. A celebration of life for Suzette Penton will be held on December 6th at the Bronson Community Center. The family has made it so that all are welcome.

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