Man charged in shootout with Volusia deputies has first appearance in court

It had been three weeks since deputies arrested Dempsey Hadley after a shootout. Wednesday afternoon, he could stand before a judge for the first time. Hadley walked in chains up to the stand. The judge read the charges and said Hadley would stay in jail for now.

"Mr. Hadley, you're here on charges of attempted first-degree murder; bond is none, fleeing or attempting to elude with lights sirens active. The bond is $15,000. Attempted first-degree murder, second count, bond is none. Third count, attempted first-degree murder; bond is none," the judge said.


Hadley is a retired maintenance worker for the city of DeLand. Hadley's family told deputies he had been "acting extremely erratically" for the past six months.


It was a very different scene from the one three weeks ago when Volusia County deputies say Hadley was taking shots at them and then set his own house on fire. One bullet grazed a deputy's face, and another deputy's shield kept him from getting hit.

After the shootout, deputies had to knock down the second-story balcony Hadley was standing on to get him into custody. He was taken to a hospital in Orlando for treatment. All of this started when deputies say Hadley stole packs of cigarettes from a local Wawa.

Before all hell broke loose," said Sheriff Mike Chitwood, "he said to us, ‘I’m about to give you guys a 21-gun salute, and with that he opened fire on us.’"