Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mistrial declared in case of Pasco man charged with trying to kill deputies

Prosecutors say they will try Robert Fredrickson, 44, again in the shooting stemming from an argument with his wife on the night of April 2, 2012. A new trial date will be set on Tuesday.


Prosecutors say they will try Robert Fredrickson, 44, again in the shooting stemming from an argument with his wife on the night of April 2, 2012. A new trial date will be set on Tuesday.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Robert Fredrickson, on trial accused of attempting to kill deputies who responded to a 911 call at his house, took the witness stand Friday and said he was just trying to get away from a confrontation with his wife.

"I was getting dressed to leave," Robert Fredrickson, 44, said. "We were arguing. I wanted to leave. I didn't want to argue anymore."

After deliberating for several hours Friday night, jurors said they could not reach a verdict. A judge declared a mistrial. Prosecutors said they will try Fredrickson again. A new trial date will be set on Tuesday.

The fight happened after midnight on April 2, 2012, at the couple's house on Royal Stewart Drive. Fredrickson argued with his wife, Caroline McNeill, over finances, and then over a possible divorce. She called 911 after he put a gun to his head. Tests later showed his blood alcohol level to be 0.189, more than double the limit at which Florida considers a person impaired.

Pasco Deputy Jeanie Spicuglia testified that Fredrickson pointed a gun at her when she went in to check on him. She ran out. She and Sgt. Troy Law caught up with Fredrickson outside, in a neighbor's back yard. She yelled gun and fired five times, missing every shot. Law fired once, then charged Fredrickson, and with the help of other deputies, hit him with a stun gun and subdued him.

Fredrickson said he was headed for a "sand pit" nearby to cool down. He said he had his guns because he didn't want them taken away by authorities. He admits he wasn't thinking rationally when he fired two shots in the house. The discharges, he said, were accidental, and must have blown out his hearing. He never heard deputies' commands at all, he said.

"I saved a long time to get these weapons," he testified, "and I cherished them."

Prosecutor Chris Labruzzo told the jury to look at Fredrickson's actions to decide his guilt.

"There's a time to be held accountable for his actions, and that's today," Labruzzo said, "especially when he put the lives of law enforcement in danger, and the people of the neighborhood."

Assistant Public Defender Willie Pura said the only crime Fredrickson is guilty of is stupidity.

He said Spicuglia was inexperienced and she panicked, and that the deputies were trying to go back in time and change what happened. He said Spicuglia told deputies Fredrickson held a gun at her because she was trying to justify her retreat.

"She didn't want to be responsible for his death if he had killed himself," Pura said.

Mistrial declared in case of Pasco man charged with trying to kill deputies 01/17/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.