Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City man on trial in 2011 stabbing death

Justin Lee Naber is charged with second-degree murder in Charles Haag’s death.

Justin Lee Naber is charged with second-degree murder in Charles Haag’s death.

DADE CITY — Justin Lee Naber told his ex-wife they didn't need to worry about their roommate Charles Haag anymore.

What they did have to worry about, though, was the mess Naber left behind. They had to buy cleaning supplies, he told his wife Mysti Dickerson, according to her testimony. They had to move his body.

She helped him, she said, because she was scared.

"The same thing's going to happen to you if you don't help me clean up," she said he told her.

Authorities say Naber stabbed Haag, 32, five times, wrapped his body in a blue tarp and dumped it in a ravine off of St. Joe Road in December 2011. About a month later, Dickerson called police. Authorities found the body and charged Naber, now 27, with second-degree murder.

Dickerson was also worried she'd be charged, she said. That's why she waited.

Naber's attorney, Geoffrey Cox, told jurors that Naber acted in self-defense.

"Naber will tell you Charles Haag attacked him with a knife and he had no choice but to defend himself," Cox said in his opening statement Tuesday. "He had a very deep laceration, a defensive wound on his hand."

Justin Naber was later picked up in South Florida. Prosecutors say he left the area to get away from the scene of the crime. They say he admitted to killing Haag in recordings and made statements including, "He got whacked," "I killed him," and "I stabbed him with a knife."

An argument started because Haag stole $300 from Naber and Dickerson when they all lived together in a trailer on Fort King Road. They needed the money to help pay rent, Dickerson said, and Haag disappeared. He showed up early one morning, intoxicated and not acting like himself. Dickerson said she called police, but they told her they couldn't remove Haag because he lived there. Haag always carried a knife with him, Dickerson said.

Later that day, Naber and Haag were alone in the house. They argued about the money, Cox said, and it turned physical.

Naber got the first wound, Cox said. Then he stabbed Haag in the throat, but Haag kept coming. Naber kept stabbing. He hit Haag in the chest, stomach, arm and wrist, something prosecutors pointed to as especially violent. In a few seconds, Haag was on the floor bleeding out.

"After that he did the exact wrong thing," Cox said. Naber and Dickerson cleaned, wrapped the body and dumped it.

Cox asked Dickerson why she kept in contact with Naber after such a terrifying ordeal. She said she was worried he would hurt her family. Cox asked why she wrote him letters when he was in prison.

"I wrote him when I got pregnant," she said. "He's the one that's given me good advice … Well, except for this time."

Dade City man on trial in 2011 stabbing death 10/29/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The winner of 'Survivor: Game Changers?' It has to be Jeff Probst


    But Tampa Bay fans are more interested in whether local lawyer and ex-Buccaneer Brad Culpepper came out on top. After winning five - count ‘em five - challenges Culpepper made probably the most serious error in taking Sarah Lacina. the 33-year-old police officer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the finals with him.

  2. To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  3. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more


    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  4. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux


    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  5. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later


    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.