A former Florida Sheriff's Association Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was arrested Thursday morning on drug and child neglect charges.

  • Former Officer of the Year arrested on drug, child neglect charges
  • Brevard Deputy Nicholas Worthy, girlfriend arrested Thursday
  • Sheriff: Deputies found him, woman, child in deplorable conditions

Brevard County Deputy Nicholas Worthy and his girlfriend, Rachel Trexler, both face charges of child neglect and cocaine and marijuana possession.

Worthy has been fired, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies were dispatched to the couple's Rockledge home Wednesday night after someone reported hearing screams and gunshots, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

When the occupants of the home refused to respond, deputies obtained a search warrant and returned at 6 a.m. Thursday and breached the home.

At the home, the deputies found Worthy, Trexler, a 2-year-old child and three dogs living in "disgusting" conditions, Ivey said. Ammunition, food, trash and dog feces were inside, as well as evidence of gunshots.

The investigators found the drugs in the home and in a vehicle at the home, the Sheriff's Office said.

The toddler was unharmed, but Worthy and Trexler are being charged with child neglect for leaving ammo, drugs and firearms within reach of the toddler as well as allowing the child to live in deplorable conditions, Ivey said. The child is in the care of the Department of Children and Families, and the dogs were taken in by animal control.

Despite charging one of their own, Ivey said the agency will ask the State Attorney's Office to fully prosecute.

Worthy began working for Sheriff’s Office in August 2012, the agency said. He was recognized by the Florida Sheriff's Association as their 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. On March 9, 2015, he was the first deputy to arrive at the scene after a report of man repeatedly firing a gun in a Cocoa residential area. When the man turned the gun on Worthy's patrol vehicle and ignored commands, the deputy fired back, killing him.

Worthy and Trexler were taken to the Brevard County Jail and held on $5,000 bond. Worthy bonded out Thursday afternoon.