Former mayoral candidate Donald Shepherd is going to trial January 24 on charges of grand theft auto. The Gainesville Police Department arrested Shepherd after Christina Avalos-Arteaga reported a stolen Ford F-150 maroon truck after an August 2015 dispute.
The truck belonged to Avalos-Arteaga’s grandmother, Frances Creathers, and was legally transferred to Avalos-Arteaga after Crethers died.
WUFT reported that Shepherd and Crethers were friends from the same trailer park for about 20 years, and that Shepherd said she wanted him to have the truck if anything happened to her.
Shepherd offered to pay for the truck’s worth in scrap metal but was told no several times by the Avalos-Arteaga family, according to the arrest report.
Avalos-Arteaga said she believed Shepherd was the last one with the vehicle. Prosecutors have a picture taken of Shepherd standing next to the stolen truck in Shepherd’s driveway, according to the arrest report.
The defense brought up that the state prosecutors might have trouble producing witnesses. State prosecutors said they have subpoenas out and expect the witness situation to be settled in time for trial.
Shepherd’s defense attorney John Broling would not comment on the case.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for Monday.