A Florida man has been charged with a murder that took place in the fall of 2001. The incident, which occurred on Sanctuary Drive in New Port Richey in Pasco County, involved a man who had been beaten to death with a baseball bat. He had gone to visit a new home construction site to assist a friend with financial issues related to the project. At the time, law enforcement officials did focus on the same suspect, but they lacked sufficient evidence to make an arrest.
The cold case arrest occurred after a New Port Richey Police Department Detective was able to locate some of the witnesses to the incident when he was asked to take a second look at the case. Some of those individuals were “a little more forthcoming,” according to the detective, than they were when first questioned.
The detective, who was assigned the case in 2016, was able to gather enough compelling evidence to convince a grand jury to indict the man originally suspected of committing the crime. After being charged with first-degree murder, the man was transferred to the Pasco County Jail from the federal lockup. One of the victim’s sons, who is from Miami, said his late father had moved in Florida from England in 1995 to start a real estate business. New Port Richey police believe they have now solved the case.
With a situation like this, Orlando, Florida violent crimes defense lawyers may question the validity of witness interviews conducted several years after the incident took place. A defense attorney might also attempt to have a first-degree murder charge reduced to involuntary manslaughter if it’s possible to show that an accused individual did not intend to commit murder. Mental health issues may be used as part of defense efforts in cases involving violent crimes.