TAMPA — A Tampa man serving 30 years in connection with a 2005 stabbing now faces a second-degree murder charge after the victim's recent death, deputies said Wednesday.
Vincent Thomas Baker died earlier this year after spending several years on a ventilator, the Sheriff's Office reported. An autopsy concluded that his death was a result of homicide — specifically, a stab wound that penetrated his heart, deputies said.
So the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office filed a new charge against Jonathan Melvis, 21.
According to the Sheriff's Office, in March 2005, Baker was walking home from work on Drycreek Drive. Melvis, who lived on that road, passed Baker. The two men spoke.
Baker continued walking away from Melvis, who then borrowed a bicycle and rode toward Baker. Melvis got off the bike and stabbed Baker in the chest with a knife and fled, deputies said.
Baker collapsed and suffered brain injuries because of a loss of blood, the Sheriff's Office said.
After being treated at a hospital, he was moved to a rehabilitation center and put on a ventilator.
An autopsy found that Baker died from pneumonia due to the chest stab wound, which penetrated his heart, deputies said. The cause and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
The Sheriff's Office and the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office reviewed the report, and prosecutors filed a second-degree murder charge against Melvis.
He had been convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing in November 2006.
Melvis currently is serving his sentence at Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex. He'll be brought back to Tampa to be tried on the new charge, deputies said.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.