A Wildwood city commissioner is facing second-degree felony charges after deputies say he texted a death threat.

  • Robert Strickland is a Wildwood commissioner
  • Deputies say he texted a death threat to a woman
  • Woman says he has been physically violent with her before

Robert Derrel Strickland, 38, of Oxford was charged Wednesday with intimidation/writing or sending a threat to kill or injure.

According to a Sumter County Sheriff's arrest report, a woman who told deputies she'd been with Strickland for more than seven years said that on the afternoon of Aug. 1, she received a text message from him that said, "I just beat my sons with a baton because of my anger towards you. I don't want your gift of freedom. When I get back I'm going to take your life and mine."

She told deputies that Strickland was in Texas when he sent the text.

The woman said that for the entire time they've been together, Strickland has been physically violent toward her and that in the past, she'd been punched, choked, kicked, pushed and dragged across a concete porch. She said her vehicle has been keyed while she and her children were inside.

The woman also said Strickland has previously threatened to kill her and the people she loves if she "moves on."

When a Sheriff's investigator made contact with Strickland, he said he was in contact via text message with the woman and was the only person with access to his cell phone. Strickland, who said he'd been out of state for the past week or so, refused to share the text messages with the investigator.

Strickland has no criminal history, the arrest report said. The Sheriff’s Office said Strickland had a first appearance in front of a judge Thursday and has bonded out of the Sumter Detention Center on $15,000 bond.