Saturday, September 22, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater man shoots cousin, also charged in July Facebook Marketplace robbery

ST. PETERSBURG — Words weren’t enough to settle the ongoing feud between Jermaine Brown and his cousin, police said. So he shot him in the chest.

St. Petersburg police said Brown, 20, drove to the house of his cousin, Charles Bentley, on the 400 block of 27th Street S. just after midnight Sunday. He shut the lights to his car as he approached, then opened fire from the car, striking the 19-year-old Bentley in the chest before leaving the scene.

"They have not gotten along for a while," St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said. "They’ve had an ongoing argument and that’s what led to the shooting."

Bentley was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition. Police said he identified his cousin as the shooter while being taken to the hospital.

On Tuesday, detectives called Brown in for questioning. He was arrested and booked into Pinellas County Jail.

While in jail, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office identified Brown as the suspect in a July armed robbery. Deputies said Brown admitted to robbing Miguel Martinez-Ramirez and Maribel Martinez by gunpoint on July 16. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Brown posted a phone for sale using a woman’s profile on the Facebook Marketplace app. They met just before 9 p.m. at 5003 Yellow Pine St., police said. Brown pulled out a gun and demanded the two give him money. He robbed them of $500 in cash, the Sheriff’s Office said. He also kept the phone.

Brown is currently being held in Pinellas County Jail.

According to Pinellas County Jail records, Brown was arrested twice in 2017, once on two counts of burglary and once for carrying a concealed firearm.

Daniel Figueroa IV can be reached at [email protected] Follow @danuscripts

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