Guilty Verdict: Kidnapping, Attempted Arson

Today Joshua Steven Tanner, 43, was found guilty as charged of Kidnapping, Attempted Arson of a Dwelling, and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer without Violence following a 3 day trial in Charlotte County. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on July 23rd. The jury deliberated for about an hour and 15 minutes before returning their verdict. 

In January, the victim went to stay in a mutual friend’s camper in Punta Gorda to get away from her boyfriend, Tanner, after he sent threatening text messages to her earlier that day. 

Tanner went to the same property the camper was on to get his work truck and found a note from the victim on the truck. He then went to the camper and started banging on the door. The victim called 911 and kept dispatch on the phone during the incident. 

Tanner then hooked up the camper to his truck and moved it elsewhere on the property before pouring gasoline around it and trying to set it on fire. When the defendant saw Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies arrive on scene he fled in his personal SUV towards the woods. He got stuck in the mud, jumped out of the vehicle, and fled on foot before eventually surrendering to deputies. 

Though the victim no longer wanted to participate in the case as it neared trial, through the dedicated work of our prosecutors, they were able to secure a successful outcome in this case. 

Assistant State Attorneys Cynthia Rebholz-Rubin and Jennifer Garczewski handled the prosecution.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office