Thursday, September 20, 2018
News Roundup

Most of the guns found after Pasco slaying of four belonged to victim, son testifies

NEW PORT RICHEY — After four people were slain in Hudson in 2014, a Pasco County sheriff’s dive team found eight guns and two bows submerged in a canal behind their home.

On Monday, Gregory Aaron Brown identified most of the weapons as belonging to his father, one of the victims.

Brown testified Monday in the murder trial of Adam Matos, accused of killing Gregory and Margaret Brown, their daughter, Megan Brown, and her boyfriend, Nick Leonard.

The son, 32, spoke softly as he recalled his late father’s interest in hunting. He kept trigger locks on all the guns, Brown said. They were always unloaded.

"I know they were all top-of-the-line," he said.

When a prosecutor showed him pictures of the items recovered from the canal, he recognized all but a handgun.

Prosecutors have not yet told jurors which gun was used to shoot the father and daughter, the two victims who died of gunshot wounds.

However, in an opening statement last week, Assistant State Attorney Bryan Sarabia told the jury that the two were shot with the same gun. A forensics technician testified Monday that a bullet found on the driveway also came from that gun.

Sarabia has also said that the mother and Leonard suffered head injuries "consistent with a hammer." A hammer was among items recovered from the canal.

Jamey Martin, a forensic investigator who testified, donned blue gloves and reached into a brown evidence bag to remove the hammer. He passed it in front of the jury.

Martin said divers also retrieved from the canal shotgun shells, rifle cartridges, three power drills and some drill bits. A truck, belonging to Leonard, contained a tool kit and drill bits, but was missing a drill.

Jurors were shown pictures of the guns and were told of blood stains throughout the house, including a large one in the master bedroom closet where Sarabia said the father had died.

They learned that Margaret Brown’s hands were bound with zip ties and that a plastic trash bag covered her head.

Neither the state nor the defense asked Brown about his family’s relationship with Matos.

The defendant sat quietly, looking down at a table, during Brown’s brief testimony.

He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] Follow @TimesDan.

Comments
How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

TORONTO — The Rays had done so much right in making their entertaining, exciting and endearing September run to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot.But it was what they couldn't do Thursday night, get the final three outs ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

As if the Rays haven't been innovative enough — with relievers starting and starters relieving, with pitchers playing infield spots and infielders playing the outfield — Thursday they unveiled a four-man outfield.Thursday was another exam...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Carrollwood Day-Admiral Farragut postponed until Oct. 4

ST. PETERSBURG — The prep football game between Admiral Farragut and Carrolllwood Day was suspended with four minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Blue Jackets holding a 14-6 lead. The game will be resumed on Oct. 4.Admiral Farragut ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

TORONTO — After taking his first look at OF Austin Meadows in Rays colors, manager Kevin Cash said the promising prospect is a "huge part" of their future. But he also acknowledged that they might not get much of a look at that future over the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Thursday, September 20

Thursday’s scoreboardVolleyballSt. Petersburg Catholic d. Cambridge Christian 25-21, 25-13, 25-8
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

TAMPA — For the first time in seven weeks, Vita Vea played football Thursday.At least it looked like the rookie defensive tackle was playing football when he walked to the Bucs' practice field wearing a helmet and full pads and took a three-poi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council blessed the largest budget in city history on Thursday night, adopting a $717 million budget that starts Oct. 1.The 2019 budget is about $200 million more than the current budget. That massive increase was driven by ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

TEMPLE TERRACE — After complaints from city residents, the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club has notified the City Council that it will not rent space again to the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its annual banquet.The country clubȁ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hernando woman crashes car with 2-month-old inside 'to get attention' of ex-boyfriend

Hernando woman crashes car with 2-month-old inside 'to get attention' of ex-boyfriend

DADE CITY — A woman intentionally crashed her car, with a 2-month-old girl inside, just to get the attention of her ex-boyfriend, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Tuesday night around 9 p.m., Breanna Bechtol, 21, of Weeki Wachee...
Updated: 4 hours ago