Unlicensed handyman arrested after employee killed doing electrical work

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The boss of a man who died late last month while installing electrical outlets at a home in Village Green has been arrested on a charge of contracting without a license.

“This is such a tragic loss of life that should not have happened if the proper procedures were followed,” said Sheriff Deryl Loar in a prepared statement.

 

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrested 49-year-old Terry Lee Owens, of Sebastian, after an investigation revealed that he had agreed to do work for a Village Green family in Vero Beach without being properly licensed to do so.The scope of work was such that Owens hired Matthew Cummings to install a couple electrical outlets to the exterior of the home. Cummings died Oct. 27 while performing the work, authorities said.One of the homeowners told authorities that she was sitting in the living room while Cummings worked on the project. During that time, she heard someone scream or yell and investigated, finding Cummings under the home unresponsive.At that point, Owens disconnected the main breakers and pulled Cummings out, authorities said.Authorities looked into Owens’ contractor status and found that he had failed to renew his handyman license in 2007 and it had been closed, the report states.

Owens faces one misdemeanor charge of contracting without a license and has been released from the county jail on $1,000 bond.

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Have you ever knowingly hired a non-licensed contractor to perform work around your home or business? Would you?

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