Man Accused of Killing Friend on Fishing Trip is Caught at Church

A disagreement among friends on a fishing trip in Florida escalated to murder, and investigators found their suspect in the most unexpected of places — Sunday morning church services, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

It also happened that the guest speaker that day was Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, officials said in a news release.

The killing happened around 10 p.m. on Friday, March 10, as three anglers were staying at a home in Hillsborough County’s unincorporated Ruskin community, officials said. Ruskin is about 20 miles south of downtown Tampa.

“That evening, the three went to a local bar and later returned home. A verbal altercation ensued. … During the verbal altercation, the suspect discharged a firearm, which struck the victim,” the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reports.

“Once deputies arrived, they discovered a male victim with an upper body gun shot wound, and began performing life-saving measures.”

The victim died at a hospital. His name has not been released.

Investigators identified John Skeen, 56, as their chief suspect, and it was the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that found him while following up on an unusual tip.

“Deputies went to a church in Polk City, after learning that Skeen may be there,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports.

“Deputies managed to get Skeen outside of the church without disrupting the service. Skeen asked … if he could go back inside for the rest of the service so he could ‘dedicate his life to the Lord before going to jail.’”

The arresting sergeant refused, but did offer to pray with Skeen before booking him.

“And that’s just what they did. Suspect and deputy prayed together outside of the church, and then off he went to jail,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says.

“One more interesting note about this story is that this particular church had a guest speaker at that service — Sheriff Grady Judd.”

Details of Judd having any involvement in the arrest were not released.

Skeen was charged with second-degree murder with a firearm, officials said.

Polk City is about 45 miles northeast of Tampa.

Original Article

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