Pair arrested near GRACE Marketplace

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kristy Susan Belcher, 44, and Robert Morgenstern, 31, were arrested yesterday near GRACE Marketplace after an officer reportedly found drugs and a knife while conducting a trespassing investigation.

At about 12:45 p.m., a Gainesville Police Department officer made contact with the pair because they were allegedly trespassing on the Florida National Guard property near GRACE Marketplace. When the officer approached Belcher, she allegedly backed away while Morgenstern reportedly tried to draw the officer’s attention away from Belcher by saying, “I have all the warrants.”

Belcher then allegedly got on her bicycle and started riding away, ignoring commands to stop. After a short foot chase, the officer tackled her from her bike. She allegedly continued to run away, and the officer apprehended her after another short foot chase.

While the officer waited for backup to arrive, Belcher reportedly took a small pouch that was clipped to her belt and tried to throw it to a bystander, who refused to take it. A search of the pouch incident to arrest reportedly produced 3.2 grams of MDPV (molly).

When the officer made contact with Morgenstern, Morgenstern allegedly refused to identify himself and said he did not have a name. After the officer informed Morgenstern that he had to identify himself because the officer was conducting a criminal investigation, Morgenstern allegedly still refused to identify himself. He was placed under arrest for trespassing after a warning and resisting arrest. He was identified at the jail by his fingerprints.

A search incident to arrest reportedly found a 10-12-inch fixed-blade knife tucked into Morgenstern’s sock, completely concealed.

Post Miranda, Belcher reportedly admitted that the drugs were hers and said she ran from the officer because she wanted to get out of GRACE Marketplace.

Belcher has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence. She was last arrested on March 2, 2023, at GRACE Marketplace with marijuana and crack cocaine. Two weeks ago, she entered a plea of nolo contendere to possession of cocaine and providing a false name to law enforcement in exchange for withholding adjudication of guilt, time served in jail (42 days), and 18 months of drug offender probation. She was also fined in early April for petit theft from Walmart and has not paid the fine. Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail in the current case at $2,000.

Morgenstern has been charged with trespass after warning, resisting arrest without violence, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He has two felony convictions (one violent) and has served one state prison sentence (released in November 2022). Judge Jaworski set bail at $9,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Apparently Jaworski is their buddy. Maybe there will be a different judge that will see the light. It’s nice that Grace Marketplace provides a place for them so they can steal and procure drugs for their pathetic lifestyle.

  • Move the courthouse to GRACE and sell the downtown civil and criminal courthouses. No air conditioning should be allowed at new GRACE Jokehouse, either. Then we’ll see how often the useless DA, lawyers and judges wanna see repeat offenders.

  • It’s time to replace the disgrace to this place.

    Little disappointed LEOs didn’t oblige them ‘a la Sheriff Teasle and take them to the edge of the county.

    Lights are still on…

  • More Grace Marketplace BS. I thought this idiots were suppose to be homeless but yet they can afford drugs.

  • We need to close this place down! Why do we encourage them to not get jobs or lead responsible lives? Round-up all the vagrants and crazy people and drop them off in downtown Miami or Atlanta.

      • Wow,
        Yes I agree they need to be held accountable, but let’s show some mercy. We all have made mistakes and bad choices, doesn’t mean they should have to pay for it their whole lives. Praying they get the help they need, and turn their lives around.

  • You know,,,
    I think it was a damn good idea to put Grace at it’s current location.
    We thought out COG! Very well thought out indeed. 🤗
    Lemme tell ya!
    Could ya’ll imagine the pandemonium if Grace was located somewhere off SW Tower Road? Or SW 24th, or SW 8th? 😜

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