Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Homeless man charged with murder in strangling death of Brooksville real estate agent

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County grand jury indicted a 35-year-old homeless man Tuesday in the slaying of a prominent Brooksville real estate agent.

The indictment charges Monty Gregg Albright with first-degree murder, kidnapping and fraudulent use of a credit card, said Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino.

Investigators said Albright strangled Steven Van Slyke, 58, in his home on Cherry Street and then went on a drug-fueled spending spree with the victim's bank card. Van Slyke's body was discovered Jan. 20 by his business partner.

Van Slyke was a past president of the Hernando County Association of Realtors and managed a home appraisal service, Van Slyke & Jessop Appraisers.

Van Slyke apparently had hired Albright to do odd jobs at his home, as he had done with other transients.

Authorities believe Albright, who was on court-ordered supervision at the time, entered the home Jan. 19, overpowered Van Slyke and tied him to a chair. He obtained the code to Van Slyke's ATM card and withdrew upwards of $5,000.

Albright bought and sold items, such as jewelry, to get more cash to buy crack cocaine.

The grand jury — a confidential panel of 15 to 21 jurors — heard this account and reviewed evidence before returning its decision.

It takes at least 12 grand jurors to reach an affirmative indictment, which is necessary for first-degree murder charges in Florida. The decision was reached about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Magrino, the chief homicide prosecutor in Hernando County, said he could not comment on the testimony or evidence because grand jury proceedings are secret.

The murder charge is a capital felony. Magrino said he is still weighing whether to request the death penalty.

"At this juncture, a decision in that regard has not been made," he said.

Assistant Public Defender Alan Fanter, representing Albright, was not available for comment. Albright, arrested Jan. 21, remains in the Hernando County Jail.

John Frank can be reached at or (352) 754-6114.

Homeless man charged with murder in strangling death of Brooksville real estate agent 02/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa man driving ATV killed in Gibsonton crash on U.S. 41

    Public Safety

    GIBSONTON — A 24-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle died Monday afternoon in a crash on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  2. Questions about Russia chase Trump during first Israel visit


    JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Monday, sending a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians. But his historic gesture- and his enthusiastic embrace of Israel's leader - were shadowed …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making joint statements, Monday in Jerusalem. [AP photo]
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders


    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?


    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Preserve wild Florida before it's too late


    The last dairy farm in Hillsborough County has milked its final cow, the pastures sold to developers who will build 1,000 new homes. The remnants of the last commercial citrus grove in Pinellas County, where the Sunshine State's famed industry began in the 19th century, were sold last year to make room for 136 homes. …

    As dairy farms and citrus groves disappear, much more needs to be done to avoid paving over Florida’s wild spaces.