Police: CPA, former Port Orange council candidate held captive, with boyfriend, by armed husband
By Lyda Longa
Published: Monday, December 29, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 29, 2014 at 4:19 p.m.
An accountant who is a former Port Orange City Council candidate was held, along with her boyfriend, inside the woman’s apartment on Christmas morning by her armed, estranged husband, according to an arrest report.
But before suspect Robert Laney forced Sonya Laney and Michael Arminio to remain in Sonya Laney’s Port Orange apartment for almost an hour while he kept his hand on a gun in his pants pocket, police said the 64-year-old suspect pointed the weapon at Arminio in the parking lot of Sonya Laney’s apartment complex on South Williamson Boulevard.
According to an arrest report, Arminio was trying to leave Sonya Laney’s residence that morning at about 8 after Robert Laney called from the parking lot and asked his wife if he could come to her apartment to talk. She filed for divorce Dec. 12, court records show.
When the 42-year-old Sonya Laney rebuffed him and told Robert Laney to go home, Arminio said he was leaving to avoid a confrontation, the report states. When Arminio got into his car and was about to back out of his parking space, Robert Laney, driving a Ford pickup, blocked him in, the report states. The men exited their vehicles and Robert Laney had a silver, semiautomatic gun in his hand, Arminio told police. Robert Laney, pointing the gun at Arminio, then said, “Isn’t this some (expletive deleted)?” to which a frightened Arminio replied, “You don’t need to do this.”
Robert Laney then forced the 55-year-old Arminio to take him to Sonya Laney’s apartment, the report states. Robert Laney — who placed the gun in his right front pocket — ordered Arminio to walk in front of him.
When they reached the apartment door, Arminio knocked and both men stepped inside. Police said Robert Laney told his wife to put her phone down and he started accusing her of cheating on him. Sonya Laney also told police that her spouse made “irrational” accusations.
She also said Robert Laney began crying and told her she was cold and cruel, the report states. Sonya Laney then told Robert Laney that she was distraught, overwhelmed and intimidated and that she never wanted to see him again because of what he was doing. Sonya Laney also told her husband that she was going forward with the divorce. That’s when Robert Laney began crying again and left the apartment, the report shows.
Arminio called Sonya Laney’s attorney and the lawyer suggested he call 9-1-1, the report states.
When officers escorted Arminio to his car, they spotted a book left under the windshield wipers of Sonya Laney’s truck. The book was titled “Connecting Through Yes,” and the section about Agreement and Separation/Breakup was folded over, according to the report. Robert Laney had also left a small magazine inside the book titled, “Is Divorce the Answer?” police said.
Reached by phone Monday, Robert Laney referred questions to his attorney Mike Lambert, who did not return a message. Sonya Laney and Arminio did not return phone messages seeking comment.
Sonya Laney, a certified public accountant, lost her bid for the District 1 seat on the Port Orange City Council in a Nov. 4 runoff with incumbent Commissioner Bob Ford.