Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Hillsborough deputies: Teen kills dad to keep mom from being beaten and choked

PLANT CITY — A teenager defending his mother as his father beat and choked her Saturday night shot and killed him, authorities said.

The shooting happened about 10 p.m. after a small group of family and friends gathered around a bonfire outside a mobile home at 7427 Burnt Barn Ave. in the Antioch area of rural northeastern Hillsborough County, investigators said Sunday.

At some point, Christopher Thorpe, 36, followed his wife, Jill Thorpe, 35, into the mobile home. The two got in an argument, deputies said.

The fight escalated from words to fists and Christopher Thorpe began beating her, moving from the living room to the master bedroom, deputies said.

He was chocking her when their son rushed in. Channing Thorpe, 17, fired several shots from a handgun, deputies said.

At 10:15 p.m., he called 911 to say he had shot his dad, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies found Christopher Thorpe dead in the bedroom. One of the bullets also struck Jill Thorpe in the thigh. She was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital and later released.

Deputies made no arrests in the case and left Channing Thorpe in his mother's custody.

If the family had a history of domestic violence, it was not evident in documents examined Sunday. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show no criminal past in the state for the father, mother or son. Hillsborough court records show no domestic violence orders for protection were ever sought. And, until this incident, deputies had not been sent out to the property in at least the past year, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

The killing stunned Evelyn Thorpe — Christopher Thorpe's mother — who was driving down Sunday from Kentucky.

"I had never, ever seen three people that were so close," Evelyn Thorpe, 64, said. "All three of them did everything together. Everything. I just can't understand it."

She said she had seen her son just two weeks ago when he visited her in Kentucky and did some hunting near her house.

He worked as a quality control inspector for Sensenich Propellers, an aircraft and airboat parts manufacturing company in Plant City.

A neighbor, Bill Dunlap, 60, said he was not aware of any domestic violence issues at the home but said Christopher Thorpe had a temper.

"He was always ready for a confrontation," Dunlap said. "I didn't really like him."

Still, he had helped Dunlap get work years ago at Sensenich and Channing Thorpe started working there after school about a year ago, Dunlap said. Jill Thorpe, he said, manages the Strawberry Hut sandwich shop.

"Chris thought of himself as the ruler of the roost and I guess Jill just got tired of it," Dunlap said. "He thought all women loved him and all women were second-class citizens."

Three others at the bonfire apparently did not witness the shooting. The three were Channing Thorpe's maternal grandmother, who lives there, along with his girlfriend and another friend, the Sheriff's Office said.

The shooting becomes at least the eighth incident in nine years in the Tampa Bay area where a child has stepped in with a weapon to protect a parent from domestic violence.

They include a case in St. Petersburg last year in which a 16-year-old told police he stabbed his stepfather to death to protect his mother. As parents Paula and Otis Wilson Jr. fought, the teen, Derrion Adams, got a knife from a kitchen drawer. He was arrested and faced a charge as a juvenile of manslaughter.

They also include a case in Hillsborough in 1994 in which a 14-year-old boy stabbed and injured his mother's live-in boyfriend, Rudolph Nathan, after the man had demanded money from her and her two sons to support his drug habit and a fight broke out. The boy's name was not released and deputies said he would not be charged.

In the shooting this weekend, the Sheriff's Office will continue to investigate, spokeswoman Debbie Carter said, then hand the case to the State Attorney's Office to decide on any charges.

Times news researcher Natalie Watson and staff writer Rich Shopes contributed to this report.

Comments
The Daystarter: Republican response to immigration firestorm; don’t let Yuengling name scare you; Hedman flattered, but unfulfilled

The Daystarter: Republican response to immigration firestorm; don’t let Yuengling name scare you; Hedman flattered, but unfulfilled

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• There’s no more denying it: summer is here. The forecast calls for highs near 90 degrees for the foreseeable future, coupled with afternoon showers, according to 10Weather WTSP.• As y...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too. Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs las...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

For the second year in a row, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is asking state regulators to approve hefty rate hikes because of an abundance of non-weather claims that end up in court. If approved, the average rates for homeowners covered by Citize...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too. Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs las...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Updated: 2 hours ago
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Safety Harbor is no safe haven from cyberbullying

Safety Harbor is no safe haven from cyberbullying

SAFETY HARBOR — Mayor Joe Ayoub put forth a resolution Monday evening asking the City Commission to condemn cyberbullying.The result? The meeting devolved into shouting and whispering from the crowd and people storming out of chambers.The mayor’s res...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Latest transformation in UT building frenzy will deliver a new Riverside Center

Latest transformation in UT building frenzy will deliver a new Riverside Center

TAMPA — In her nearly 40 years at the University of Tampa, Linda Devine has seen plenty of buildings eventually outgrow their usefulness.There was 10-story Delo Hall, whose elevators quit working and windows eventually leaked in the rain. There were...
Published: 06/20/18
County blocks proposed sailing center on Dunedin Causeway

County blocks proposed sailing center on Dunedin Causeway

DUNEDIN —When the city’s local planning agency gave initial approval to a proposed sailing center on the Causeway in December, Kim Begay feared the worst. The sandy beach to the west of the vacant lot at the corner of the Causeway and Woodette Drive ...
Published: 06/20/18