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Sous chef guilty of aggravated battery in knife attack

Photo: Orville Reid in court.

A sous chef at a luxury Vero assisted-living community has been convicted of aggravated battery with a weapon for a 2017 knife attack in the kitchen of the main dining room.

Orville Reid, 52, was on trial for attempted second-degree murder, but was acquitted of that as the jury opted for the lesser charge. The victim, Clive Alcott, was Reid’s line cook and mentee at the community formerly known as The Isles of Vero.

Reid admitted to striking Alcott in the head with a chef’s knife, but defense attorney Bobby Guttridge insisted Reid acted in self-defense against Alcott, who is 20 years Reid’s junior. The jury didn’t buy that explanation, but apparently didn’t think Reid meant to kill Alcott. Aggravated battery with a weapon carries maximum penalties of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Reid, a Vero Lake Estates resident, helped Alcott get the line cook job back when Reid was dating Alcott’s mother, but their friendship had soured.

Testifying in his own defense, Reid said he believed from prior incidents that Alcott was a violent person. Alcott confirmed in his own testimony on the stand that his work relationship with Reid “was getting out of hand.”

The line cook said Reid was overly demanding in the kitchen. On the morning of the incident, Reid had ordered him to perform an additional task after breakfast service. When Alcott responded, “You’re not my boss,” Reid struck him twice on the head, chipping Alcott’s skull and sending the bloodied cook fleeing from the scene.

Guttridge claimed Reid felt threatened by a loud argument with Alcott and reacted, striking the line cook with the kitchen knife he was using. Reid claimed Alcott called him a crude Jamaican slur for gay person – defendant and victim are both Jamaican – escalating the dispute.

But three servers on duty that morning testified they did not hear any loud argument.

Alcott drove away from the assisted living community and stopped on State Road 60 to seek help from an Indian River County Sheriff’s Deputy. Reid drove away, too, Alcott pointing Reid’s vehicle out to the deputy as he drove by. 

After the verdict was read, deputies took Reid into custody and booked him into the Indian River County Jail to await sentencing before Circuit Court Judge Robert Meadows on Aug. 7. 

Guttridge urged the court to release Reid on bond because he had been out on $100,000 bond awaiting trial since 2017. But Meadows denied the bond request, and as of press time, Reid was incarcerated.