Captive couple called Sonya’s Lawyer before they called Police

Police: CPA, former Port Orange council candidate held captive, with boyfriend, by armed husban

By Lyda Longa
lyda.longa@news-jrnl.com
Published: Monday, December 29, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 29, 2014 at 4:19 p.m.

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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.

more via Police: CPA, former Port Orange council candidate held captive, with boyfriend, by armed husband | News-JournalOnline.com.

Laney

Sonya Laney – Former City Council Candidate

armino

Mike Arminio – Former President Chamber of Commerce

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27 Opinions on “Captive couple called Sonya’s Lawyer before they called Police

  1. If I were being threatened and held at gunpoint my reaction would be to call 911 as soon as I could. I think any normal person would do so. I wouldn’t call my lawyer. Anyone else think this is a very weird reaction:?

    • My immediate response too, Mazie…..I would love to hear the aggrieved husband’s version of this sad event……did you listen to the 911 call? …Mike Arminio is the speaker on the call. The 911 call is on the left side of article under Mrs. Laney’s picture under related links…ironically right under Ted Noftall’s picture and link called “Port Orange looks to bounce back from string of resignations”…under “Audio” ..link below.

      http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20141229/NEWS/141229424/1040?Title=Police-CPA-former-Port-Orange-council-candidate-held-captive-with-boyfriend-by-armed-husband

      I am betting there are more resignations to come ….hopefully from certain city boards and that these two individuals involved in this mess will have the decency to resign their “volunteer positions”…seems to this observer that these boards that have both Mike Armnio and Mrs. Laney as members are now horribly compromised in terms of their integrity….also seems to me that individuals who are making such publicly terrible choices in their own lives should not be making binding choices for the rest of us ..like on the planning commission for instance…a real “no brainer” for the city I would think…

  2. That surely helps Mr. Laney’s criminal case and Milke Lambert.
    They couldn’t have feared for their safety too much if calling attorney before 911.

    I doubt all these felonys will stick.

    • Agree 100% CC. We already had those thoughts. I think there is much sympathy for Mr. Laney in the local community.

    • to concerned citizen from Hank: I think he will be found guilty of the crimes but given probation. I have no evidence that Sonya and Mike have done anything wrong. Bob is the guy who did the wrong things. I guess we might think Sonya and Mike are more than just friends and even if they are does that disqualify two people to serve in politics or in the chamber of commerce? It seems like some of you guys want Sonya and Mike to be responsible for what Bob did. You seem to want to persecute Sonya and Mike because of their being allies of your political foes. You have taken the high road of morality where perhaps not everyone appreciates your version of morality. You now are scaring me more than Sonya did. — hank

      • “Bob is the guy who did the wrong things” ? And you know this how ? Were you present ? Come on Hank, believe everything you read ?

        Attorney Lambert will rip this case apart easily.

        • hank to concerned citizen: you must know more than I know about this fact. I only know the info presented to me on this blog by the arrest report. But if you write a different version of the incident, since I believe everything I read as you say, perhaps you can change my mind about bob being the aggressor with the gun.
          I will be waiting for your version of the incident. — hank

  3. Why did it take the local newspaper 4 days to publish the Sonya Laney story? Did the News Journal hold back on the report because its in bed with the Chamber of Commerce? It appears that local blog sites published the story within a few hours of the event. But 4 days later the Journal only published the story after it was obvious the cat was out of the bag by the coverage on the local blogs.

    If this is true then its a SAD day for that newspaper and perhaps why newspapers are failing all over this country..

    • I don’t think they knew. Fortunately ever helpful Port Orange volunteer “stringers” were on the job. 🙂 There was no press release from the POPD.

    • newjournal2from: Gallas, John [mailto:John.Gallas@news-jrnl.com]
      Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:39 PM
      To: Monahan, Gerald
      Cc: Harden, David
      Subject: Pubic information

      Chief Monahan,

      I hope things are going well for you and the department during this holiday season.

      I wanted to bring to your attention some recent complaints I’ve received about our lack of reporting on crime in Port Orange. While I think that we report the most important crime matters we know about, I do think that some of the concerns of people who complain are valid, and I wonder what you might think about improving information coming from Port Orange police. The main concern is that Port Orange Police Department offers limited and sporadic information about police activity in your city that public might like to know. It’s often tips from residents that lead us to finding out about bigger stories – and those often come days after crimes or arrests occur.

      Before I go any further I want to stress that Chief Miller, Capt. Jakovenko and the records clerks who help us are responsive, helpful and, as for as our needs, adhere to public records laws. We appreciate it. What the department is not is proactive.

      Port Orange Police Department, I believe, is the third largest Volusia County agency but much smaller departments, Ormond Beach, DeLand, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater, all proactively notify the media about newsworthy arrests on a regular basis. The larger ones, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and Daytona Beach Police Department, provide nearly daily accounts of their notable activities.

      Those departments all have different employee job titles who send out releases. Some are full-time PIOs, most are officers or detectives with many other duties. I believe your department has been consistent under your command, responding to questions, inquiries and requests but not offering much unless asked.

      Going into the new year, it is my hope that Port Orange could loosen its information hold and proactively let us know some of the trends, safety issues and activities that spark community conversation so we can bring that information to those you serve in a timely manner. If there’s anything you believe we could do to help please let me know.

      Thank you for your consideration and all the best to you and the department,

      -John

      • I am relatively sure that Mr. Gallas did not mean PUBIC INFORMATION…an unfortunate typo no doubt ..its on the CM’s read log just like this…then there is a series of exchanges between Gallas and Monahan that apparently no one caught…too Freudian…

        from: Gallas, John [mailto:John.Gallas@news-jrnl.com]
        Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:39 PM
        To: Monahan, Gerald
        Cc: Harden, David
        Subject: Pubic information

  4. I think A called B and B called C who then called he Police Dept. hence no press release. No surprise.

  5. You know Mike must have been talking to a lawyer before the 911 phone call. Take notice of the legal advice double talk when he talks about “his girlfriend” as Bob’s “soon to be ex-wife” That translate into everybody else’s language as Bob’s “current wife”
    My opinion, Sleazy! Sleazy! Sleazy!

  6. I sure hope Bobby Laney beats this rap because he sure is the victim here. Calling her divorce attorney before she called 911. Give me a break.
    He took Sonya in 15 years ago after her first divorce was granted in 1999 which by the way is still ongoing as gold digger Sonya is still trying to get money out of her first squeeze.
    Bobby Laney raised her two daughters, put her through university, helped her get her CPA, paid for her accounting office and helped finance her political campaign only to find out she was having an affair with his chamber neighbor who lived just down the street.
    If Bobby is convicted he will lose his guns and his favorite hobby – hunting, and if he is really unlucky he will lose his civil rights and be prevented from voting against that cold hearted witch if she runs for Council in 2 years.

    • Mrs Laney will have to run in a different district if she runs again in 2 years…and who would back her again..she is going to be a tough candidate to rehabilitate…going to need a new personal narrative for sure…maybe a new last name even…..let’s see. What was that timeless quote…”I stand for ethics and whatnot”……guess it was the “whatnot” that got her….that whole ethics mantra thing is going to really require some ‘re-working….calling Lord and Lasky…

      • Dear mrs Gardener,
        It seems to me that you almost side with the man commiting a felony because you disagree with the womans politics. If that is the case you should be ashamed of yourself!!! If not plesse forgive me for reading it wrong.

      • Its so awsome that your in favor of domestic violence!! Good for you diane. We should always blame.the woman and always support the man with the gun!!!!

    • Are you kidding me. Your sideing with the man that held her at gun point?? From reading posts here from before, seems like they have been seperated for a while, and your saying you feel bad for him, i dont know the whole story and neither do you, but a man holding people hostages seens to me is a bad thing. If you support him, you support all menwho abuse there woman. Is that what you want? You want the right to abuse and scare woman into submission?? Do you wan. that?????

      • No one is siding with the “man who held her at gun point” Some may be siding with the man who ALLEGEDLY held her at gun point but that is all, because at this point Mr Laney is presumed innocent of any charge. And who is Mr Laney’s accuser – Why none other than the guy sleeping with Mr Laney’s wife – the upstanding Family Days spokesman and former President of the Chamber. .
        The only one guilty of anything is Sonya who freely admitted that she is a ‘cheating wife’
        Mike Arminio probably needs a attorney more than Bobby Laney just in case he is inclined to talk himself into a jail cell for perjury. Did you care to notice that Sonya was not stupid enough to say she ever saw the gun Arminio says he saw, and unless her divorce attorney suggests otherwise she never will.

        • to whoo boy: ” the man who ALLEGEDLY held her at gun point” and “presumed innocent” are terms for a court of law. This blog is far from being presented as a court of law. You might think that police who arrest are also presuming the arrested person to be “innocent” but since the arrest is not yet in a court of law, such presumption of innocents is not required. But yes, your distinction that Bob Laney is the “alleged” man with the gun is more precise than how we speculate on the incident but has little bearing on the facts as presented to us. But it is an aweseome thing that you are prone to believe everyone arrested is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We need more people like you.

          • You are correct, police make no presumption of innocence.
            In fact police make the opposite presumption in that they must have a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed the specific crime for which he or she is being arrested. That reasonable suspicion is subject to scrutiny by a Judge at first appearance and by the States Attorney in deciding whether to prosecute. Stay tuned to see if this POPD arrest clears both hurdles.

          • Hank: So far we only heard from 1 person that they saw Bob Laney with a gun. We have yet to hear his version of events. That is one of the major reason he is innocent until proven guilty.

            Perhaps we should get a copy of his arrest report to see how much it differs from Mr. Arminio’s

  7. Interesting to note that at the 2 minute mark on the 9-1-1 tape Mike ask Sonya < how long was he in our apartment >

  8. So is it safe to say that if you dont like someones political views its ok for them to be held at gunpoint?? Does the gardner family support domestic violence???????

  9. Well “so tired” ……since YOU keep bringing this up…pretty hard to improve on “Whooo boy” and his comments from January 1, 2015……its worth re-reading…. Mrs. Laney and her “boyfriend”, Mike Arminio are probably wishing at this point that you would stop trying to “help her” with these posts…..its been more than 2 weeks since Christmas morning when this event occurred…. not a pot I would keep stirring if I were an ally of Mrs. Laney…..it stinks enough already…

    Whooo boy !

    January 1, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    No one is siding with the “man who held her at gun point” Some may be siding with the man who ALLEGEDLY held her at gun point but that is all, because at this point Mr Laney is presumed innocent of any charge. And who is Mr Laney’s accuser – Why none other than the guy sleeping with Mr Laney’s wife – the upstanding Family Days spokesman and former President of the Chamber. .
    The only one guilty of anything is Sonya who freely admitted that she is a ‘cheating wife’
    Mike Arminio probably needs a attorney more than Bobby Laney just in case he is inclined to talk himself into a jail cell for perjury. Did you care to notice that Sonya was not stupid enough to say she ever saw the gun Arminio says he saw, and unless her divorce attorney suggests otherwise she never will.

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