Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco homeless man pleads guilty to bashing vagrant with guitar

NEW PORT RICHEY — William Charles Johnroe flew into a rage when another homeless man whom Johnroe had asked to guard his backpack didn't do so.

Authorities say Johnroe, 33, pummeled Joseph "Guitar Joe" Fylipek, 29, in the face with a wooden acoustic guitar and tried to choke him. The fight between the men, both homeless, took place last year in the parking lot of a Dollar General store at U.S. 19 and State Road 52.

Johnroe was arrested and charged with attempted murder in the July fight. On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to a year in the county jail.

That's where he sits already, charged with killing a woman.

The same week Johnroe was arrested in the brawl with Fylipek, two witnesses called authorities with a story that Johnroe had clubbed a transient woman in the head, killing her.

It had been about a month since the killing, but the witnesses — a homeless man and woman — said they had been too frightened to come forward. Johnroe had threatened them, they said.

The female witness told authorities that Kimberly Sue Goode had been flirting with her at a homeless camp near the USA Fleamarket on U.S. 19 in Hudson. Johnroe, who was the witness' boyfriend at the time, got angry at Goode and bashed her in the head several times with a wooden object, reports the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The male witness said he helped Johnroe move Goode's body to some woods and covered her with a tent and palm fronds.

It took a month for authorities to identify Goode's remains.

Johnroe, records show, was first arrested at age 12 in Michigan, accused of burglary and stealing a car.

In 1994, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for carrying a concealed weapon and criminal sexual conduct by force.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6245.

Pasco homeless man pleads guilty to bashing vagrant with guitar 01/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  2. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion


    NEW DELHI — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

    New Delhi’s landmark India Gate, a war memorial, is engulfed in morning smog on Friday.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.