Florida man who allegedly raped and mutilated a woman faces new charge after paying inmate to ‘take care’ of her, police say

News & Politics

A Florida man accused of raping and mutilating a woman is facing new charges after prosecutors said he tried to prevent his victim from testifying during his upcoming trial.

54-year-old Bruce Whitehead was arrested in 2022 after allegedly raping a woman at knifepoint after he picked her up near a strip bar on the South Orange Blossom Trail, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Whitehead then bit the woman, cut her with a knife, and burned her. He allegedly tried to stab her in the chest, but the blade of the knife collapsed into the handle. She was able to escape and get help.

Whitehead has a distinctive and massive forehead tattoo reading “Sacrifice,” and he tried to hide it by wearing a hat. An “observant resident” spotted him anyway and alerted police, who were able to arrest him.

He was charged with a slew of crimes, including sexual battery with a deadly weapon and physical force and attempted felony murder with a weapon. One Orange County detective called him a “monster.”

New charge of tampering

Prosecutors filed a new charge of witness tampering after an assistant state attorney found that he had allegedly asked another inmate in jail to “take care” of the victim after he was to be released.

Investigators said they were initially afraid that Whitehead was asking the inmate to kill the victim, but they later surmised that he was allegedly trying to pay her off so that she would refuse to testify against him. He reportedly believed that the charges would be dropped without her testimony.

The criminal complaint also said that Whitehead admitted to the other inmate that he had been filing new motions in the case in order to buy time for his accomplice to get to the witness.

Whitehead was accused of giving the inmate a note with the victim’s information, including her name and address. That inmate told prosecutors that he was afraid if he didn’t follow through with Whitehead’s order that he would find someone to kill the victim.

The suspect had been previously released from prison after being found no longer a threat to the community by two doctors.

Whitehead’s trial is scheduled to begin in May.

Here’s a local news report about the charges:

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