LITHIA, Fla. — A Lithia man who was the victim of a home invasion in October is now fighting to regain custody of his children after the state removed them following that attack.
“I'm appalled and I dumb-founded,” Jeremy King said.
- Jeremy King loses custody of kids after home invasion
- King's wife shot, killed one of the suspects with an AR-15
- Child Protective Services said home was an unsafe environment for the kids
- King fighting to regain custody of kids
King was severely beaten inside his home on October 30 after he said two masked men barged in demanding money. His wife, who was pregnant and hiding in a back bedroom, grabbed an AR-15 rifle and shot one of the men authorities later identified as Joseph Baez, 27.
Baez died at the scene.
Within days, Child Protective Services took King’s children into state custody. His infant son, delivered by his wife, was also removed.
“They said I created an unsafe environment for my children and that it's my fault the home intruders came there,” King said after a custody hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.
Last week, authorities arrested Ty’Zae Robinson, 19, and Kiara Ragins, 24. Investigators believe Robinson, who was charged with felony murder over Baez’ death, was with him during the home invasion. Ragins, who was charged with accessory to felony murder, is accused of driving the getaway car.
An attorney for King said that state went too far.
“I have a lot of respect for what DCF and CPS and the judiciary have to do but in this case, I do believe they've overreached,” Derek Lucas, who represents King, said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriffs’ Office said in a statement “the residence is believed to have been targeted due to criminal activity happening inside the home.”
King, who does have a criminal record for marijuana possession, strongly denies he is involved in any current criminal activity.
“I feel like I've been victimized here and now my children are still being victimized,” he said.
Several custody hearings related to this case are scheduled for next month.