A Florida man has been charged with murdering his father while on a fishing trip off the coast of Marco Island on March 18. Investigators allege that other people on the boat witnessed the crime.

According to media reports, the defendant, a 30-year-old Copeland resident, bludgeoned his father in the head with a spare alternator while the older man was asleep. He then allegedly threw the alternator over the side of the boat. The incident took place while the boat was approximately 70 miles southwest of Marco Island.

Other crew members on the vessel told investigators that they witnessed the defendant attacking his father. After the killing, the defendant reportedly told one of the crew members that his father had raped him. When a Coast Guard rescue swimmer arrived at the scene, the defendant allegedly stated that his father had tried to rape him and had “started messing” with him in the moments leading up to the killing. He also claimed that his dad had raped other members of his family in the past. However, once he was taken into custody, he declined to speak with investigators without a lawyer present. He has been charged with second-degree murder and could be sentenced to life in federal prison if convicted. The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.

Defendants charged with violent crimes may benefit from exercising their right to remain silent and contacting Orlando, Florida, violent crimes defense lawyers for advice. The lawyers could scrutinize the case and work with the defendant to develop a strong defense against the allegations. For example, if a victim was acting in self-defense, it may be possible to get the charges dropped or reduced.

Source: NBC 2, “Florida man beats father to death on a fishing trip,” Vanessa Bein, March 20, 2019