Trenton man who crashed excavator into Walmart receives prison sentence


A Trenton man who hotwired an excavator and went for a ride that led to $2 million in damage and crashed into a Walmart was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday.

Jesse Charles Smith
Courtesy of GPD Jesse Charles Smith

Judge William Davis of the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Gainesville sentenced Jesse Charles Smith, 48, to 10 years in prison on a first-degree felony grand theft, along with multiple third-degree felony counts, followed by 10 years of probation after Smith pled no contest, according to a WUFT story.

The incident occurred on Sept. 11 when Smith stole the excavator from a construction site off SW 47th Street and proceeded to hit a power pole, drive through storage units, and a fence at Swamp City Fitness and then rammed into the Butler Plaza Walmart on 2900 SW 42nd St.

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Gainesville Police Department officers responded and arrested Davis, who had gone inside the Walmart armed with a machete.

A man was arrested for allegedly driving an excavator into the Butler Plaza Walmart on Monday night.
Courtesy of GPD Jesse Smith was sentenced on Monday for driving an excavator into the Butler Plaza Walmart on Sept. 11, 2023.

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One fairly important part of the agreement between the people and those who take the authority to govern is the protection that is supposed to be provided to the people.

Our governments, large and small, are failing to live up to their oaths. In so many ways, with so many examples.