Man sentenced to life in prison after guilty plea in stabbing of Highlands County 11-year-old

Published: January 6, 2022 12:58 PM EST
Colton Lee Driggers. Credit: Highlands County Sheriff's Office

A man who plead guilty to stabbing a Highlands County 11-year-old on Halloween in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison.

28-year-old Colton Lee Driggers, of Lake Placid, was sentenced after pleading guilty on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Driggers was a temporary guest at a home on Pinehurst Road in Sebring, sleeping on the couch, when he attacked the boy multiple times and then stabbed him. He had reportedly become angry that he could not go to sleep due to the boy, also sleeping on the couch, talking in his sleep.

The boy’s mother intervened, and the boy ran into the garage. Driggers followed and then noticed the boy was wearing a Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch Summer Camp shirt. Driggers allegedly told the boy he hated cops and became even more enraged, making the boy remove the shirt before he started beating him again.

At some point, the mother was able to get a dog to attack Driggers, allowing her and her son to flee into the street. As they were trying to get to a neighbor’s home to seek help, Driggers tackled both of them in the driveway of a home on Springdale Road, which is where he stabbed the boy three times in the upper torso.

Driggers then fled, and the mother was able to get the boy to a home and call 911. Driggers was spotted a short time later walking his dog on the Sebring Parkway by a Sebring police officer. He ran away and was soon caught by the SPD unit and deputies, but had to be wrestled into custody, leading to the charges of resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer.

The victim was airlifted to a trauma center in critical condition with three stab wounds to the upper torso. He survived the incident.