Master sergeant with Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested, accused of domestic violence

Joshua Sonnes, 45, arrested Thursday

This is a picture of Joshua Sonnes posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page in 2016 when Sonnes was promoted to sergeant. News 6 has cropped out the other people pictured in this photo. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MARION COUNTY, Fla, – A master sergeant in the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was arrested Thursday after a domestic violence attack, according to a news release.

Deputies said Joshua Sonnes, 45, was arrested at a home in Marion County.

Investigators said Sonnes and the victim had been in a verbal fight for several days, which culminated in Sonnes hitting the victim with an HDMI cable.

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The victim told deputies Sonnes had battered her several times before — tackling her, hitting her in the head with a piece of wood and throwing a brick at her, which damaged the victim’s car, according to the probable cause affidavit. Deputies said a witness backed up the victim’s claims.

According to the sheriff’s office, Sonnes has been with the office for 17 years and was assigned to the Detention Bureau.

“It devastates me that one of our own stands accused of domestic violence,” Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement. “As the Sheriff of Marion County, I will always strive to protect and seek justice for every victim, in particular victims of domestic violence. I will continue to hold my employees to the highest standards of conduct and integrity. Anybody found to have violated the laws we have sworn to uphold will be dealt with accordingly and be made to face the consequences of their actions.”

Sonnes is on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.

Sonnes faces a charge of domestic battery.

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, available 24 hours a day, at 800-799-7233. In Central Florida, the Harbor House offers a 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence, or NNED, said there are “red flags,” or warning signs, of controlling behaviors that could led to an abusive relationship, including if a partner is excessively jealous, wants to know where you are at all times and insists that you stop seeing friends and family. Read the full list here.

Anyone experiencing these red flags, or knows someone who might be, can call 800-799-SAFE (7233) and speak to a domestic violence advocate.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.