Thursday, November 15, 2018
News Roundup

Defendant in neo-Nazi murders found incompetent, state wants second opinion

TAMPA — A former neo-Nazi and self-professed Muslim accused of shooting to death two of his roommates is not mentally competent to stand trial, a doctor has found.

But prosecutors want a second opinion before a judge decides what to do with Devon Arthurs, who faces two counts of first-degree murder.

In a brief court hearing Thursday, Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale said the prosecution was not ready to accept the findings of Dr. Yolanda Leon, whose examination found that Arthurs is incompetent.

"It appears to me in some areas of the report that the defendant exhibited an understanding of some of the issues in question," Gale said.

Over the objection of Arthurs’ defense, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Laura Ward granted the state’s request to appoint a second expert, ordering Dr. Daniel Patz, a psychologist, to examine Arthurs.

The matter will be revisited at the next court hearing, set for Feb. 28.

RELATED:Suspect in neo-Nazi murders tells of anger problem, says ‘I might be kind of sick’

Prosecutors say Arthurs, 18, used an assault rifle to kill Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, inside the Tampa Palms condominium they shared with a fourth man. After the murders, Arthurs walked to a nearby smoke shop and held three people at gunpoint before officers arrived and persuaded him to surrender, police said.

In an interview with detectives, Arthurs said he and his roommates had been neo-Nazis. until he converted to Islam. He said he killed them because they showed disrespect toward his new faith.

During an investigation of the crimes, police found explosive chemicals and other bomb-making materials in a garage adjacent to the condo. The items belonged to the fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, who was not home at the time of the murders.

Russell later pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the explosives and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Arthurs was not in court for Thursday’s hearing.

Comments

Updated: 1 hour ago
Lee is renamed Tampa Heights Elementary School

Lee is renamed Tampa Heights Elementary School

TAMPA — Even the vote to rename Lee Elementary School — a treasured institution that weathered a devastating fire and a year-long relocation — did not happen without twists and turns.Tuesday's decision to call the school Tampa He...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Animal activist who threw fisherman's catch back in the water on trial in Clearwater Friday

Animal activist who threw fisherman's catch back in the water on trial in Clearwater Friday

Michael Leaming threw a fisherman's catch back in the water to “save it,” went viral with millions of views, and now faces trial for what he did.
Updated: 1 hour ago
State swimming: Can Jesuit boys repeat? Can Berkeley knock off Bolles?

State swimming: Can Jesuit boys repeat? Can Berkeley knock off Bolles?

Lots of cool stuff could go down for the Tampa Bay area this weekend at the Class A and 2A state swim meets at Sailfish Splash Waterpark in Stuart. Five things to watch (besides the rain and dropping temperatures).Bolles could lose!It's possible. It ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hooper: ‘Hope sightings’ replenish Metropolitan Ministries’ holiday effort

Hooper: ‘Hope sightings’ replenish Metropolitan Ministries’ holiday effort

Staff, volunteers at the nonprofit have come to cherish serendipitous moments of love
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays Cy Young winner Blake Snell shares a secret to his success

Rays Cy Young winner Blake Snell shares a secret to his success

Blake Snell had special thanks for Kyle Snyder, who has been his pitching coach and confidant at several levels.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Port Tampa Bay negotiating to move ConAgra flour mill to Port Redwing

Port Tampa Bay negotiating to move ConAgra flour mill to Port Redwing

After 80 years in downtown Tampa, the ConAgra flour mill could be moving to Port Redwing near Apollo Beach, clearing the way for a future expansion of Water Street Tampa.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Death investigation underway in Palm River-Clair Mel

Death investigation underway in Palm River-Clair Mel

The crime scene is near S 16th Avenue and Margaret Street. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released few details.
Updated: 1 hour ago

Friday’s letters: Stop the ridiculous rise in drug prices

Here are Friday’s letters to the editor
Updated: 2 hours ago